President Pranab Mukherjee expressed concern over the increasing incidence of liver diseases in the country and the lack of public awareness and associated treatment for combating the same. Addressing some of the leading doctors in the field of liver and biliary sciences here, Mr. Mukherjee asked specialists to develop the "best clinical protocols and operational systems in specialized liver care in line with global standards".
"Liver is one of the vital organs of the human body. It is in a sense our metabolic factory and master regulator since everything we ingest first goes to the intestines and then to liver. The bacteria in our gut, sense, process and modulate our life. "It is, therefore, a matter of great concern that liver diseases today are as common, if not more, than heart diseases. They constitute a huge burden on our country, but sadly, public awareness and associated treatment and research facilities with respect to these are not quite as optimal," he said while addressing the 6th foundation day function at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS).
The event also marked the 3rd convocation of the ILBS, an autonomous institute established by Delhi government. The President, after awarding degrees to the graduating scholars, also talked about the causing factors of the increasing numbers of liver diseases.
"Hepatitis, alcohol usage and obesity injure the liver the most, sometimes irreparably. The increasing number of lives lost to liver disease and the growing need for liver transplantation in our country are ready pointers to the increasing incidence of liver disease in our population," he said. Mr. President lauded the institute, one of the exclusive facilities in this domain, for treating over 87,000 patients in the year gone by and undertaking 283 liver transplants and 85 renal transplants since its creation.