Friday, April 21, 2017

Hepatitis: Expert calls for increased awareness about disease

Public Screening Marking The World Hepatitis Day In Ibadan

Chito Nwana said awareness on the dangers of hepatitis was very low, adding that stakeholders in the health sectors should continuously educate Nigerians about the disease.

Dr Chito Nwana, the Chairman, FCT chapter of the Guild of Medical Directors, has advised Nigerians to go for routine check-up for hepatitis to avert sudden death.

Nwana gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja ahead of the guild’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), scheduled for May with the theme: “Let Us Make Nigeria Hepatitis-free”.

She said awareness on the dangers of hepatitis was very low, adding that stakeholders in the health sectors should continuously educate Nigerians about the disease.

According to her, hepatitis refers to an inflammation occurring in the liver and this can be caused by various things, including toxins from food substances, drugs or viral infections.

Many people fail to realise the seriousness of the disease because often even when they get diagnosed with it, they have no symptoms.

“Unchecked, hepatitis has the potential to destroy the liver and end a person’s life,” she said.

She also said that when most people talked about hepatitis, they were referring to the viral type, labelled A, B, C, D and E, which primarily attacked the liver.

Nwana, a medical consultant, said that hepatitis A and E were usually acquired from eating something bad and often showed signs of fever, jaundice, upper body pain, nausea and vomiting.

She said that this form of hepatitis was usually acute and often cleared after a supportive treatment to boost the body’s healing ability.

According to her, hepatitis B and C often progress from acute to chronic and are transmitted through blood transfusions, sharing sharp objects and sexual contact.

Nwana called on all parents to ensure that their children got all the required immunisation to prevent getting hepatitis and other child killer diseases.

She advised that people, who were vaccinated in childhood and did not get infected with the virus, should still get tested and immunised now.

The chairman also advised Nigerians to educate themselves on health matters, adding that “it is the best way to protect one’s health”. 


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