By Dipo Olowookere
The Head of Gastroenterology and Hepatitis Unit at the Department of Medicine, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Dr Charles Onyekwere, has called on the government to make treatment of hepatitis affordable.
The health expert made this call at a webinar held on Monday, July 27, 2020, to mark the 2020 World Hepatitis Day themed Find the Missing Millions.
Dr Onyekwere, while detailing the essence of the worldwide recognition for the day, said it’s a call on the people from across the world to take action and raise awareness towards a hepatitis free future.
He further noted that the World Health Organization (WHO), which first celebrated the World Hepatitis Day on July 28, 2011, set a goal for elimination of viral hepatitis by 2030 which means that “the number of newly infected persons and related mortality should be decreased by 90 per cent and 65 per cent respectively.”
The gastroenterologist highlighted some areas in which elimination programs should focus on and these include; testing, immunization against hepatitis B Virus (HBV), preventing mother to child transmission, blood safety and harm reduction.
On how well WHO goals have panned out, Dr Onyekwere noted that the COVID 19 pandemic has stalled effort to push the vision.
He, therefore, noted that health professionals need to intensify effort on “encouraging the populace to come out to verify their status and ensure that they are not carriers of the hepatitis A, B or C Virus.”
Dr Onyekwere also admonished on the involvement of the government on setting structures for readily available vaccines and affordable treatment.
He recommended that everyone should keep tabs on their health and closely monitor their wellbeing, saying. “People should go for a regular check-up, take their vaccine doses, and encourage the people around them to encourage others to participate.”
Business Post gathered from Healthline that hepatitis refers to an inflammatory condition of the liver.
It’s commonly caused by a viral infection, but there are other possible causes of hepatitis, including autoimmune hepatitis and hepatitis that occurs as a secondary result of medications, drugs, toxins, and alcohol
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