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Hepatitis and Stigma

A Dari poem by Ambassador Karim Rahimi

Translated into English by Amir Ansari

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Once upon a time a mother got hepatitis

A devoted woman to her family

She began to suffer a lot

When she was diagnosed as having hepatitis

Her face turned yellow and she got very anxious

Family, loved ones and relatives got paranoid

As they didn’t know much about the sickness

They left the woman helpless

Neither children nor friends

Had the mercy to soothe her pains

Neither parents nor husband

To realise her lonely island

No neighbours to say hello to her

No respect, no money with the poor

Heartbroken and overwhelmed by hepatitis

Depressed and hopeless

Isolated and anxious

English translation:

Hey! People! Listen to this love message

Don’t blame patients as they are the victims

No one consciously choose to get an illness

We should not focus on patients but on sickness

Do you know anyone to happily embrace an illness?

No doubt! As a human being

We have to think of wellbeing

For us and for others alike

Like what Sa’di Shirazi has said 800 years back:

“Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.

If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.

If you have no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you cannot retain.”



If you ask the poor mother

She will surely answer with tears

Not only does hepatitis cause my pains

Stigma has also put me in chains

Stigma produces paranoia

Stigma causes discrimination and phobia

We should not blame patients for their sickness

We must not isolate and bully the helpless

If we put the patients on the spot

And let them suffer

Or keep a distance from them

Or leave them alone and hate them

Or quarantine them

Their health will get worse and worse

They will get depression and frost


In addition to avoid stigmatisation and isolating patients with hepatitis, we could pay attention to the following points:


Lucky that we are in good health

However, we also have responsibilities for others’ health

We should encourage people living with hepatitis

To get medical help as early as possible

Better to be help to them

Better to brighten their dark times

Support them and talk to them with smiles

We should put ourselves in their shoes

Give them some positive emotion with compassion

Make them happy to forget their pains

So to prevent depression

So to treat hepatitis B and cure their hepatitis C

So that they become again a beloved one and flourish

A Dari poem by Ambassador Karim Rahimi

Translated into English by Amir Ansari

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