WORLD HEPATITIS DAY 2022
LAGOS RESTATES COMMITMENT TO HEPATITIS REDUCTION, ELIMINATION
…. Holds Awareness Walk, Tasks Residents on Screening
Lagos State Government has once again restated its commitment to the reduction and elimination of Hepatitis scourge in the State by deepening public sensitization and awareness as well as providing free screening and vaccination program.
Speaking Thursday after an awareness walk around Alausa-Ikeja community to commemorate the World Hepatitis Day in Lagos, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye noted the determination of the State Government aligns with the T.H.E.M.E.S. goal targeted at improving the prevention, control and management of diseases.
In his words; “Lagos State Government is determined more than ever to bring this scourge of Hepatitis to an end by providing free Hepatitis awareness, screening and vaccination program which aligns with the State T.H.E.M.E.S. goal targeted at improving the prevention, control and management of diseases while reducing the incidence and impact of public health emergencies”.
Explaining that Hepatitis is an infection of the liver which causes liver inflammation and damage, Ogboye said that the commitment of the present administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu towards prevention, care and treatment of Viral Hepatitis in Lagos has been great through both political and financial supports with the sole aim of improving the overall health indices of Lagosians and ensuring a universal health coverage, built on sustainable primary health care system.
The Permanent Secretary explained that the theme of the Year 2022 World Hepatitis Day commemoration, ‘Bringing Hepatitis care closer to you’, connotes that Hepatitis is a killer disease that waits for no one adding that it is a reminder of the urgency to end Hepatitis by “bringing Hepatitis care closer to citizens through awareness, prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
“The theme is also reminding us of the commitment to eliminate Viral Hepatitis as a public health menace by reducing its incidence and mortality rates by 95% and 65% respectively by year 2030 which is achievable”, he said.
Ogboye noted that the State Government through the Ministry of Health has demonstrated a health approach to management of Hepatitis across the cascade of screening, diagnostics and treatment including; free screening of patients using WHO-prequalified rapid test kits for Hepatitis B and C.
According to him, screening, vaccination and treatment for Hepatitis B and C presently take place in the various outpatient departments of the State healthcare facilities such as the medical outpatients, ante-natal, surgical outpatient, paediatrics units amongst others.
“In addition, screening is done for blood and blood products that are utilized for blood transfusion and these are coordinated and regulated by the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Services (LSBTS) to ensure blood safety”, the Permanent Secretary said.
Ogboye who received his second jab of the hepatitis vaccine immediately after the awareness walk at the Folarin Coker Staff Clinic, Alausa-Ikeja, venue of the free hepatitis screening, urged residents to present themselves for hepatitis screening, treatment and vaccination in order to help prevention, early detection and management.
“Hepatitis vaccine is available in our general hospitals and you need to take three doses. The other thing is to also notice quickly when you have hepatitis. Yellow eyes, persistent fatigue are some of the signs and symptoms of hepatitis. So let’s take advantage of the screening and vaccines that are available in our health facilities” He said.
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Speaking in the same vein, the Director, Disease Control, Dr. Rotimi Agbolagorite stated that the fight against hepatitis requires the cooperation and support of all citizens. He added that the State government will continue to engage relevant stakeholders and citizens in the prevention and control of the disease whilst also implementing right strategies to eliminate the scourge of infections in the State.
Dr. Agbolagoriite stated further that beyond World Hepatitis day celebration, the State Ministry of Health has been constantly conducting community awareness sensitization to the members of the communities so as to get basic information as to where and when to seek medical intervention against the deadly disease.
“Lagos State Ministry of Health routinely conducts community awareness, enlightenment and sensitization campaigns to raise the level of education of the people on hepatitis prevention, control and management. We believe this will help reduce the scourge of hepatitis and accelerate the quest to eliminate the disease”, he said.