FG URGED TO TACKLE HEPATITIS
By Chioma Obinna & Yinka Latona
Nigerian government has been told to tackle the issue of hepatitis with the same level of seriousnes it gives HIV/AIDS.
This call was made, yesterday, through Excellence Foundation International, a non-governmental organisation saddled with the responsibility of restoring good health to the people of Nigeria, while giving a lecture on hepatitis to Vanguard staff.
Lagos State coordinator of Excellence Foundation International, Mrs. Funmi Olamide, described hepatitis as a silent killer, which is more dangerous than HIV/AIDS. She called on government at all levels to embark on enlightenment campaigns, make the vaccine available to the people at the grassroots level and also inform the public on the need to carry out hepatitis tests.
She said: 'The government should sensitise the masses on what hepatitis is all about. It is a silent killer. It kills every second and if this infection is detected early, it can be treated and lives will be saved.'
While delivering her lecture, Olamide noted that millions of Nigerians are infected with hepatitis, adding that the prevalence rate of hepatitis was very high in Nigeria.
According to Olamide, hepatitis B and hepatitis C are the predominant variant of the disease. She added that those with high risk behaviour are prone to being infected by the disease and that hepatitis B and C kills on a daily bases.
Explaining further, Olamide blamed increased number of liver cancer and liver siroccos cases in the country on undetected and untreated hepatitis infections.
She said when left untreated, hepatitis leads to cancer of the liver and, in severe cases, liver siroccos which in turn leads to death.
She, however, advised Nigerians, especially the new-born, to be vaccinated for hepatitis and also urged Nigerians to take the issue of their health seriously.