Currently, there are said to be over 300 million people living with Hepatitis globally with about half of the number not aware of their status due to little or no access to a testing facility.
This year’s event which was marked across the globe on July 28th 2020,with the Theme Hepatitis Free Future was commemorated in all countries of the world targeting new born babies as the focus was to halt transmission from mother to children.
In Calabar,the Cross River State Capital,the event was marked with Street rallies which featured awareness creation using songs and dances,free testing, free vaccination and well as the distribution of Condoms as a preventive tool.
Flagging off the campaign in Calabar,the Cross River State Capital,Director General of the Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency,Dr Janet Ekpenyong said ,it was time to raise the level of awareness on the dangers of Hepatitis which she described as one of the World’s most deadly and fastest killer diseases which has received the least attention so far.
Ekpenyong said,as much priorities that are given to other diseases, hepatitis should as well receive such prominence due to its nature of transmission and infectious rate.
Speaking on the Government’s commitment in Managing the disease she said “The leadership of His Excellency Senator professor Ben Ayade has made provision for testing kits and vaccines which we have spread across the 18 Local Government Areas of our state especially in Boki where we have recorded the most number of cases.
On the outcome of the exercise in Calabar on the World Hepatitis Day,
Ekpenyong praised members of the community for taking advantage of the exercise in getting themselves tested and being vaccinated against the virus.
“I must commend everyone who turned out here today to get themselves tested,about a hundred people were checked today and that’s encouraging,fortunately only 4 out of the numbers tested positive and we have referred them to the closest secondary facility where they are expected to get a confirmatory test.
She said though the disease is not hereditary but pregnant woman who are infested are most likely to transfer it to their unborn children and as such urged for random check up both for pregnant women and other people.
The DG further called on citizens to observe precautionary measures including the practice of safe sex using Condoms,avoiding or minimizing oral sex, maintenance of good personal hygiene,minimize the intake of alcoholic beverages, regular testing and receipt of Vaccines.
Some of the symptoms she listed out includes: Jaundice, weakness of the body,increased stomach size due to fluid accumulation,yellow skin and eyes,nausea,lost of appetite among others.
Hepatitis which is an inflammatory condition of the liver present in patients either as Hepatitis A,B,C,D and E with researchers also making claims of other types and can be contacted from persons to person through exposure to body fluids like sweats,semens, unprotected sexual intercourse,oral sex,sharing of sharp and personal instruments etc.