The Executive Chairman of the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr Ganiyu Sopeyin has advocated for a synergy between the government and stakeholders in the education sector to work out modalities to conduct free medical screening exercises in Lagos public primary schools.
Dr Sopeyin made this appeal during the Opening Ceremony of a three day Health Week programme organised by the Board in Maryland, saying that this become imperative in order to take care of children in public schools whose parent could not afford the medical screening of their wards.
He assured that this would go a long way in preserving the health of the children, stressing that the health week was organised by the Board in order to educate civil servants on the need to pay attention to their health.
“We have organised free Hepatitis B and C testing for all staff of the Board as part of our responsibility as a government, the health week will create awareness on various ailments. We have discovered that a lot of workers do not take care of their health; many do not have interest, money or are afraid of stigmatisation which have led to untimely death of workers that are often time precious to lose,” he said.
Sopeyin urged the workers to take advantage of the health week or other health programme powered by the state government to improve their health condition.
The Assistant Chief Nursing Officer of SUBEB, Mrs. Modupe Oduleye, disclosed that over 250 SUBEB staff would benefit from the test adding that three doses of the hepatitis vaccine cost about N2400 per person.
The Project Manager, Roche Product Nigeria Limited, Mr. Nwosu Nwabueze, disclosed that hepatitis remained a very deadly disease that affects one in 12 people worldwide and over 3.4 million are affected in Nigeria.
Nwosu who was among the facilitators described the disease as an inflammation of the liver that was caused by viruses A, B, C, D, E and CMV, as well as bacteria, alcohol, drugs and other toxins.
According to him only vaccination remains the best means of preventing the virus adding that child to child was the commonest mode of transmission in Africa with about 60 per cent.
“The Hepatitis virus does not present any symptom; it is transmitted through sexual contact, blood transfusion, contaminated needles and health workers; it can be diagnosed through a simple blood test and if negative, three doses of the vaccine are required,” he explained.