Hepatitis, one of the world most deadliest infectious diseases has remained a nightmare to millions across the globe owing to the unprecedented deaths recorded yearly due to poor or misinformation about the virus.
In Cross River State, the annual World Hepatitis Day was marked in Akamkpa Local Government Area on Wednesday July 28th 2021 at the Mma Efa PHC with stakeholders calling for wider information dissemination especially in the rural Communities.
Speaking at the occasion, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu said the state can no longer wait to eliminate hepatitis as it has renewed its commitment to community testing, vaccination and viral information dissemination.
She said with over 16 million people in Nigeria suffering from hepatitis, more concerns regarding its mode of transmission and management should be prioritized as she charged council chairmen, traditional rulers religious institutions and everyone to join the fight in kicking hepatitis out of the state.
Earlier in her remarks, the Director General of Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Janet Ekpenyong thanked the Chairman of Akamkpa for always supporting and collaborating with the health team towards raising a healthier society.
She said the Agency under her watch will continue to expand its social mobilization team to relay messages on the types, symptoms, causes and cure for all forms of hepatitis.
She blamed the high rate of infection on the recent and exclusive focus on the Covid-19 pandemic which she said had limited access to prioritization of other ailments.
She noted that the disease is preventable if all hands be on deck to drive the sensitization into villages and cities and the maintenance of adequate safety guidelines such as an end to unprotected sex, use and sharing of sharp objects, body contact with infected persons, kissing amongst others.
The Chairman of Akamkpa LGA Hon Linus Bassey reiterated his commitment to supporting the health sector and ensuring that Akamkpa indigenes have access and take up available health services to improve health outcome in the Local Government. He further highlighted the successes recorded in the LGA particularly in immunization, while promising that the campaign against hepatitis will get to every community in Akamkpa.
Although there are no known cure for hepatitis, experts say regular testing could hault infection rate with negative clients given three doses of vaccines to gain full immunity.
Also present at the event were Director Public health, Dr Iwara Iwara, Director Disease control and immunization, Mrs Joy Chabo, Director Akamkpa LGHA Felix Abang, other staff of State Ministry of Health and Primary Healthcare Development Agency Partners, CSOs, traditional rulers, religious groups etc.
Highlight of the event was the mass testing of community members, vaccination of those found negative as well as the distribution of condoms.