Hepatitis: 80% Of Nigerians Lack Access To Treatment
By Samuel Victor Akpan
Former Chief Medical Director, Central Hospital, Benin City, Dr Philip Ugbodaga says over 80 percent of people living with Hepatitis lack access to prevention, testing and treatment services.
Dr Ugbodaga, in an interview with Nigeria Info FM correspondent Joy Kalio, said the symptoms of Hepatitis- which can be avoided- may go “un-noticed” hence the dire need for everyone to get tested.
“Hepatitis is preventable, it is treatable, however, over 90% of people living with Hepatitis are lacking prevention, testing and treatment services. Since the symptoms of viral Hepatitis often go un-noticed, we believe and we urge all Nigerians to get tested”, said Ugbodaga.
Speaking further, he said: “Since Hepatitis can be avoided, we urge all Nigerians to know the risk factors that cause Hepatitis and since it can be treated, we believe that every Nigerian deserves the chance”.
While urging the Federal Government to allocate more funds to the health sector and make all vaccines free, Ugbodaga also called on non-governmental organizations to join the fight against Hepatitis by “devoting more time and resources” to kick out the disease.
“We hereby call on government and other non-governmental organizations to devote more time time and resources to the fight against Hepatitis, let us together work towards a Hepatitis free world in which we would invest heavily in eliminating Hepatitis”, said Ugbodaga.
On her part, Medical Practitioner, Dr Folasade Olugbemi-Paul expantiated on the various mode of transmission of Hepatitis- which is a sexually transmitted virus- in our environment.
She said: “some of the most common ways of getting Hepatitis B is through sexual intercourse- they are sexually transmitted viruses-, mother to child during delivery, blood transfusion in which the blood is not properly screened”.
She also said it is mandatory for a person to complete the three doses of hepatitis vaccine, which lasts at least 30 years.
The World Health Organization has set aside the 28th of July every year as World Hepatitis Day.
Image courtesy: Wikipidea