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Orang Itu: A film to raise awareness on the thousands of Malaysians living with hepatitis
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Orang Itu: A film to raise awareness on the thousands of Malaysians living with hepatitis

by Sheryll PaulOctober 4, 2018

Tickets can now be obtained to a gala screening of Orang Itu, which will take place on the 16th of October at Golden Screen Cinemas in Pavilion. 

Orang Itu is a local film that tells the tale of Mawar, an elderly mother who is on a mission to reconcile with her past. She visits a city she hasn’t been to in thirty years and finds herself in a dilemma with a prejudiced restaurant owner, who’s life she becomes entangled with from that moment on. The film features an ensemble cast including Sofia Jane, KK Wong, Carmen Soo, Sawyer Leong, Redza Minhat, Nam Ron, Tony Eusoff, Radhi Khalid and Vanidah Imran.

The special screening of the film this month is in conjunction with the ‘Find The Missing Thousands’ campaign, an effort by Hepatitis Free Malaysia and Pertubuhan Pembangunan Kendiri Wanita dan Gadis (WOMEN:girls) to raise awareness on those living with hepatitis and liver cancer.

The “missing thousands” refer to the thousands of Malaysian adults who don’t realise they are living with hepatitis. It is estimated that 3% of Malaysian adults born prior to 1989 (before the implementation of the Hepatitis B vaccination for newborns) have persistent infection with Hepatitis B. It is also expected that roughly 380,000 people are currently living with Hepatitis C unaware they are infected. Unlike Hepatitis B, there is no vaccine for Hepatitis C, which is why it is so essential that people get tested.

Unfortunately, not all have the privilege to access good healthcare. The homeless and several other marginalised communities often have no linkage to healthcare professionals, leaving them compelled to live the rest of their lives without ever getting a proper diagnosis.

Proceeds from ticket sales of Orang Itu will go into funds for free hepatitis kits for street communities in need of support and treatment. The film will also be used as a tool to help further push the Jade Ribbon Campaign, an international movement by the Standford University Asian Liver Centre, to help spread awareness internationally about Hepatitis B and liver cancer.

The cast and crew of Orang Itu

The cast and crew of Orang Itu 

“For those infected with hepatitis, early detection is crucial as treatment to suppress hepatitis B virus replication or cure hepatitis C altogether has been recognised as the best strategy to reduce the risk of those infected progressing to liver cancer. Liver cancer is mostly caused by Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C and is an important cause of premature death in Malaysia, therefore commitment to prevention and control of hepatitis is desperately needed,” said Professor Dr Rosmawati Mohamed, President of Hepatitis Free Malaysia as well as the Co-chairperson and Founding Member of the Coalition to Eradicate Viral Hepatitis in Asia Pacific.

The campaign will officially kick off on October 16th, the gala night of Orang Itu, and will run for a period of six months where more care and relief will be given to street communities to provide them with better access to health professionals. There will also be a a series of awareness programmes in schools and special screenings of the film in selected areas.

“From the work that Pertubuhan Pembangunan Kendiri Wanita dan Gadis (WOMEN: girls) have done with the film Orang Itu, we aim to confront the stigma and discrimination faced by the homeless and marginalised communities – communities in Malaysia that are also at greatest risk of hepatitis infection due to their lack of access to basic healthcare and education. We want conversations and actions that matter,” said Low Ngai Yuen, the Founding President of WOMENgirls.

(Source: Orang Itu)

(Source: Orang Itu)

The gala screening of Orang Itu will be held on the 16th of October at GSC Pavilion. Tickets can be obtained via a minimum donation of RM300 here.


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Featured Image Source: Orang Itu

About The Author
Profile photo of Sheryll Paul
Sheryll Paul
Writer at The Daily Seni. I like making witty (and sometimes cringeworthy) puns.

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