World Hepatitis Day in Cross River State
On the July 28th 2022, Cross River State join the rest of the World in celebrating World Hepatistis day with a theme “Hepatitis Can’t Wait”. SOGHIN CRS and Partners took sensitisation to major streets and markets (Watt Market) in Calabar metropolis, targeting 5,000 populace.
World Hepatitis Day is celebrated annually on 28 July to raise awareness of the global burden of viral hepatitis and to recognize the discovery of the Hepatitis B virus in 1967 by Nobel prize-winning scientist Dr. Baruch Blumberg and his subsequent achievements in developing a diagnostic test and vaccine for the virus. Hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver that causes severe liver disease and hepatocellular cancer, its affects hundreds of millions of peoples globally.
In this year Hepatistis day in Cross River State, focus was on the need for bringing hepatitis care closer to large number of populace so that the public can have better access to treatment and care, thus the choice of largest market in Calabar; Watt Market.
Speaking during the sensitisation of market women and men, the Director General, Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (CRSPHDA), Dr. Janet Ekpenyong, urged them to go for testing and vaccination.
Dr. Mbang Kooffreh-Ada, Consultant Gastroenterologist at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar (UNICAL) said, according to World Health Organization (WHO), Nigeria is in the hepatitis endemic zone. She encourage men, women, and youths to go for Hepatistis test. In addition, pregnant women were ask to take the vaccine to avoid mother-to-child transmission.
One of the vocal person in the event pointed out 5 actions to protect oneself against hepatitis to include:
- Use sterile injections always
- Use your own razors and blades
- Practice safe sex/ use of condom
- Use safe tattooing and piercing equipment
- Vaccinate pregnant women/infants against Hepatitis B
It was also stress that Hepatitis can affect people in different ways. While one person affected with hepatitis may face fatigue, stomach pain or fever, another one might not even know that he/she has hepatitis. Some may develop serious health problems like liver failure or brain damage due to this disease. Thus, people were encourage to go for testing.
The program was wrap up with free testing, vaccination and distribution of condom as shown in the plate below.