Hepatitis : Nigerian Government to adopt strict measures – Minister

The Nigerian Government on Saturday has assured Nigerians of its commitment to take major steps in controlling Hepatitis.The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, stated this during the 24th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Guild of Medical Directors (GMD) in Abuja.

The  minister was represented by the Director, Hospital Services , Dr Joseph Amedu. The theme of 2017 conference is ‘ Let Make Nigeria Hepatitis Free’.

According to the minister,Hepatitis affects the liver and without any warning , it progresses until it does a lot of damage or even lead to untimely death .

Speaking on the conference, he said it is appropriate, as it would create the necessary awareness on the menace of viral Hepatitis.“This will in no small measure reduce the dangers associated with lack of knowledge of the disease and prevent it from reaching epidemic levels like meningitis and the Ebola virus’”, he said.

Adewole said as operators of private hospitals in the country, the guild is an indispensable partner in contributing 60 to 70 per cent stake in achieving the health care delivery in the country.

“I therefore urge you all to reciprocate government’s gesture of Public Private Partnership with dedication and commitment to your duty of care and shun situation that will make you abandon your responsibilities. Let us work together in peace and harmony to give the health sector the change the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration intends for the health sector’’, he said.

In a keynote address, Dr Chukwuma Anyaike, a Consultant Public Health Physician , called for increased awareness of hepatitis and provision of safe and effective vaccines in the country. “The key intervention to make the country free from hepatitis is to prevent mother to child transmission of the disease. Others are safe injection practices and safe blood as well as safer sex which include the use of condoms to prevent the disease,’’ he said.

Anyaike called for partnership with government,  Civil Society Organizations and  the private sector to reduce the menace of the disease, adding that such partnership must be tailored with concrete action and national plan.

In his remarks , the President of the Guild, Dr Tony Philips, said Nigerians should ensure they know their status and also go for routine  medical checks.

NAN/Adama.L