By Asma’u Ahmad
The Federal Government on Saturday assured Nigerians of its commitment to take proactive steps towards controlling the spread of Hepatitis in the country.
The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, stated this during the 24th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Guild of Medical Directors (GMD) in Abuja. Newsmen report that the theme of 2017 conference is ‘Let Make Nigeria Hepatitis Free.’
The minister represented by the Director of Hospital Services, Dr Joseph Amedu, said “Hepatitis is important as it affects the liver, without presentation with any weighty symptoms until it has caused severe damage and chronic liver disease, liver cancer and untimely death.”
He said the conference was appropriate, as it would create the necessary awareness on the menace of viral Hepatitis.
“This will in no small measure reduce the dangers associated with lack of knowledge of the disease and prevent it from reaching epidemic levels like meningitis and the Ebola virus.
Prof. Adewole said as operators of private hospitals in country, the guild was an indispensable partner in contributing 60 to 70 per cent stake in achieving the healthcare delivery in the country.
“I therefore urge you all to reciprocate government’s gesture of Public Private Partnership with dedication and commitment to your duty of acre and shun situation that will make you abandon your responsibilities.
“Let us work together in peace and harmony to give the health sector the change the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration intends for the health sector,” the minister was quoted as saying.
In a keynote address, a Consultant Public Health Physician, Dr Chukwuma Anyaike, called for increased awareness of hepatitis and provision of safe and effective vaccines in the country.
“The key intervention to make the country free from hepatitis is to prevent mother to child transmission of the disease. Others are safe injection practices and safe blood as well as safer sex which include the use of condoms to prevent the disease,” he said.
Dr Anyaike called for partnership with government, Civil Society Organisations and the private sector to reduce the menace of the disease.
He said that such partnership must be tailored with concrete action and national plan. In his remarks, President of the Guild, Dr Tony Philips, said Nigerians should ensure they know their status and also go for routine medical checks.