World Hepatitis Day: Ogun To Embark On Free Routine Check Up On Hepatitis B & C - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS

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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

World Hepatitis Day: Ogun To Embark On Free Routine Check Up On Hepatitis B & C

Ogun Health Commissioner, Dr. Tomi Coker 

Michael-Azeez Ogunsiji 
ABEOKUTA - Worried by the rising death cases resulting from hepatitis B &C, Ogun state government has said it would embark on free routine check up and treatment as part of its prevention method. 

The state commissioner for health, Dr. Tomi Coker who disclosed this to journalists on Tuesday in commemoration of 2020 World Hepatitis Day Celebration said, out of the five main strains of the hepatitis virus, hepatitis B and C are the most common cause of deaths with 1.3million lives lost annually. 

The commissioner who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Adesanya Ayinde noted that, recent survey on the prevalence of viral hepatitis in the country shows that about 567,000 Nigerians representing 8.1% of the total population of the country are having Hepatitis B Virus. 

Dr. Coker explained that, viral hepatitis is preventable, treatable, saying hepatitis C is curable but low testing and treatment has become an obstacle in preventing the virus. 

Speaking on this year's theme, "Hepatitis free future", Coker maintained that, the spread of the disease can suppressed and prevented following the implementation of some core intervention endorsed by World Health Assembly in 2016.

To tackle the deadly virus, Coker disclosed that the state government has embarked on the testing of pregnant women in the three Senatorial Districts, stressing that adequate care is also being taken to ensure those positive of the virus do not further transmit the virus.

She noted that complete immunisation of new borns and infants with all necessary antigens including Hepatitis B vaccine was critical in ensuring a hepatitis-free Ogun state. 

Her words "It is a routine thing that pregnant patients are tested in the state and adequate care is take to ensure that those who are positive don't transmit the virus to those who are not. Also, hepatitis immunisation is now a routine thing in Ogun State.

"Hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver that causes a range of health problems, including liver cancer, is said to be the second killer infectious diseases after Tuberculosis. 

"The infection affects people of all age groups, but in most studies conducted recently HBV infection is predominant in young adults; 20 -30years followed by 30-40 years. 

"As part of our prevention method, Hepatitis B virus infection causing chronic liver diseases has received little or no attention in the past, thus constituting a major public health hazard."

She insisted "All pregnant mothers must be offered Hepatitis B screening and other necessary test as a comprehensive package of care during antenatal care."

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