By: Prudence Okonna
About a 100 residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, have enjoyed free testing and vaccination of hepatitis disease, as FCT Administration celebrates World Hepatitis Day.
The free test and vaccination was provided by three Non-Governmental Organizations namely Centre for School Health Education and Environmental Hygiene (CSHEEH) in collaboration with Firm Care Diagnostics and Medical services and HAPPACIN outreach services.
During the event at Gudu District, Abuja, the Executive Director of CSHEEH, Dr. Folashade Momoh, said the aim of the free testing and vaccination is to motivate people to ascertain their status.
According to her, ‘’we are giving the Hepatitis Vaccine free to motivate people and I know that it is part of the routine immunization for the prevention of other child killer diseases. Under the National immunization program, the vaccine is given free to children below the age of one year but for Adults, it is paid for. So, we are giving it free today because of the importance of prevention; it is better and cheaper than a cure. ‘’
Also speaking at the occasion, the CEO HAPPACIN outreaches services, Richard Terwse Ikyernum, said the most important thing is for everyone to know their status and see a doctor if they are positive.
“We are working hard to create awareness on Viral Hepatitis, using the power of a collaborative effort so as to make more impact and that is why we partnered with CSHEEH”, he emphasized.
‘’We are here today because it is a collaborative effort to CSHEEH, we are here to give the vaccine to non-reactive patients and of course, render help in one way or the other we can.’’ He added.
It may be noted that World Hepatitis Day is commemorated yearly on 28th July to raise awareness on Hepatitis disease.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that in Africa including Nigeria, more than 90 million people are living with Hepatitis, accounting for 26 percent of the global total. Nigeria with an estimated population of 190 million people, has a prevalence rate of 8.1 percent (16million) and 1.1 percent (2.2 million) for Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) among adults aged 15-64 years respectively. This is based on the 2018 Nigeria HIV/AIDS indicator and impact survey report.