By Frankie Ifop, Calabar
The Government of Cross River State will be treating undiagnosed cases and patients with Hepatitis for free on the 1st of August, 2018 in Odukpani Local Government Area.
Hepatitis refers to an inflammatory condition of the liver. It’s commonly caused by a viral infection, but there are other possible causes of hepatitis. These include autoimmune hepatitis and hepatitis that occurs as a secondary result of medications, drugs, toxins, and alcohol.
The theme this year: “Test. Treat. Hepatitis” sought to eliminate the disease by emphasising scale-up of hepatitis prevention, testing, treatment and care services, with specific focus on promoting WHO testing and treatment recommendations; showcase best practices and promote Universal Health Coverage, UHC of hepatitis services; and to improve partnerships and funding in the fight against viral hepatitis.
According to the Cross River State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Inyang Asibong, “Viral hepatitis B and C are major health challenges, affecting 325 million people globally. They are root causes of liver cancer, leading to 1.34 million deaths every year.”
This year, the Cross River State Government in collaboration with the Society for Gastroenterology and Hepatology in Nigeria, and the Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN) Cross River State chapter, will be organising an outreach as part of this year’s celebration on Wednesday, the 1st of August, 2018 at the UCTH Health Outpost in Okoyong, Odukpani LGA of the State.
This was disclosed during the sensitisation talkshow on the Good Morning Cross River Programme on the Cross River State Broadcasting Corporation, CRBC organised by the State Government.
The outreach is aptly themed ‘Finding the Missing Millions’ in line with the WHO’s objective to find the undiagnosed in our society and linking them to care in a bid eliminate the virus completely.
The State Government last year conducted a free test and treat, and vaccination exercise where over a combined 1000 civil servants from across the State benefited. There was a free diagnosis for Hepatitis C and B, and an instant vaccination of people with no trace or symptoms of the virus in their bloodstream.
The State Ministry of Health also sensitised the public on ways of preventing the virus and some common signs and symptoms associated with it.