Paul Obi in Abuja
The Ijaw Women Connect (IWC) a pan-global of Ijaw women resident in Abuja organised a public awareness programme for women to get free testing for and inoculation against hepatitis B.
President of IWC Abuja chapter, Embeleakpo Ogriki bemoaned the poor knowledge of hepatitis and the level of attention given to the disease by government.
“A lot of emphasis is being put on HIV/AIDS and other diseases, whereas hepatitis B is a killer disease which attacks the liver and, before you know it, the person is dead,” Ogriki said.
She said many were not aware of the disease, its symptoms and that an inoculation can keep them from contracting hepatitis B in the first place.
IWC brings together Ijaw women spread across Akwa Ibom, Delta, Ondo, Edo, Rivers, Bayelsa—numbering in their thousands.
According to Ogriki, gatherings always had possibility where not all participants would be aware of issues affecting their health, including hepatitis and menopause.
“Some of us don’t know. We have heard people talking about hot flashes and other symptoms but we don’t know what it is. Some of our women have been in and out of hospital without knowing it is these menopausal symptoms they are having,” said Ogriki.
Obstetrician and gynaecologist, Dr. Ifeoma Amungo who also educated women on menopause, called it a natural phenomenon that will happen to every woman but required information to deal with it. “The more you know about something that is going to happen to you, the better prepared you are to handle it. Information is power. That information will help you handle it with confidence,” she stated.
A participant at the event, Ebirein Robert observed that “women need to know, because most of us we are novice about these things,” adding: “when sensitisation comes, women sit up and know what they ought to do.”