Ayodeji Ake

As part of activities to commemorate World Hepatitis Day 2017, Trinity Healthcare Foundation, Nigeria in collaboration with the World Hepatitis Alliance organised a two-day community awareness programme on viral hepatitis, an acute or chronic inflammation or injury which can result to partial or complete damage to the liver.

The hepatitis awareness programme which was held at the Lawanson Ultramodern Shopping Complex, attracted a large number of people, following a sensitisation rally a day before the event around Lawanson, Obele Itire and Ijesha axis within Surulere Local Government Area.

During the symposium, participants and people across all levels of the society, were offered free hepatitis screening, free hepatitis B vaccination, and health talk on symptoms of hepatitis vaccination, transmission modes and ways of preventing the hepatitis virus.

World Hepatitis Day, observed on July 28 every year, aims to raise global awareness of hepatitis – a group of infectious diseases known as Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E – and encourage prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

According to the Founder/CEO, Trinity Healthcare Foundation, Dr. Nseabasi Ekanem, hepatitis B, which unarguably is the most common type of viral hepatitis in Nigeria, is the most deadly type of hepatitis virus responsible for majority of liver cancer reported worldwide.

While delivering a lecture on Viral Hepatitis, Ekanem explains that: “We have known that hepatitis is becoming the very big thing now in Nigeria. In fact very alarming statistics show that Hepatitis B, to be very specific is responsible for over 11 million liver diseases in Nigeria. That is 11 million people in Nigeria are living with liver disease strictly responsible by hepatitis. The disease is a neglected one in the country. Global and national agencies are focused on fighting HIV, etc at the detriment of Hepatitis B.

“Because of this negligent, Hepatitis B has spread so fast in Nigeria. In 1994, the statistics on people living with viral hepatitis in Nigeria was at about 15,000. But as at 2016 the figure has grown to an alarming rate of about 11 million.”