Opening of the Hepatitis Care Centre/ Registry at the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital on 28th August 2020.
This year’s world hepatitis day celebrations aim to have people all over the world to take individual and collective action to seek a ‘Hepatitis free future’. The World Health Organization (WHO) is advocating for all countries to work together to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. Additionally, despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, the WHO recommends that health facilities maintain essential hepatitis services.
To commemorate this year’s World Hepatitis Day, the Society for Gastroenterology and Hepatology in Nigeria (SOGHIN) in collaboration with Foundation for Healthcare Innovation and Development (FHIND) Phillips pharmaceuticals, Mega Life pharmaceuticals, and other stakeholders decided to establish the Hepatitis Care Centre/Registry in line with international best practices. This registry is sited at the Medical Out-Patient Department of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH).
Vision of the centre: Seek a Hepatitis Free Society
The objectives of the center include:
To create an interactive database that collates, organizes and displays longitudinal information obtained from patients with viral hepatitis. This will be achieved by establishing an electronic system to promote retention of patient’s data.
To provide walk-in services for members of the general public to obtain reliable information on viral hepatitis. This will include; referrals to the appropriate specialist as well as vaccination services, counselling, distribution of IEC (Information, Education and Communication) materials from sponsors. In addition, the centre will provide free onsite rapid testing for viral hepatitis and other relevant tests to members of the community especially during events like world hepatitis day.
To provide follow-up services for patients living with viral hepatitis, including active Hepatocellular Cancer (HCC) Surveillance in the community.
To create an opportunity for research and award of grants from the longitudinal data that will be obtained from the registry.
To scale down viral hepatitis health promotion within communities, with an aim to expand hepatitis services in Cross River State. This can be achieved by the registry providing technical assistance for the training of health professionals in the primary and secondary health sectors as well as relevant stakeholders in the community such as Traditional Birth Attendant’s.
The registry will also be the head office for the Hepatitis Club, which is aimed primarily to be a support group for persons living with hepatitis B and C.
This inaugural event was coordinated by Dr Mbang Kooffreh-Ada, a gastroenterologist and Secretary of SOGHIN Cross River State (CRS). In attendance was Dr Uduak Williams (a Director of FHIND), members of the Hospital Management Board, the Chairman Health Committee, CRS State House of Assembly and other honourable members, representatives of the Director Generals of the Cross River State Primary Health Care Agency (PHCA) and State Agency for the Control of AIDS (SACA). FHIND provided the Hepatitis Care Centre with IEC materials for distribution to the populace.