The Rotary Club Abuja Garki Neighbourhood has trained no fewer than 30 healthcare workers and enumerators on the treatment and eradication of hepatitis in Abuja.
It said this became necessary as a lot of Nigerians are walking the streets with hepatitis without being tested to determine their status.
A recent study by the World Health Organization in Nigeria found the prevalence of hepatitis B and C in the country to be 8.1% and 1.1% of the population respectively.
This means that about 19 million Nigerians have hepatitis B or C. The research found out that about 11% of Nigerian patients with hepatitis B also had hepatitis D. The co-existence of hepatitis B and D is a greater threat to liver health than hepatitis B virus alone. Unfortunately, most patients with hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections are asymptomatic and can remain so until the liver is significantly damaged.
The World Health Organisation has also estimated that only about 10% and 19% of patients with chronic HBV and HCV are aware of their infections. Hepatitis B and C viruses could lead to liver cancer if not properly treated. The median survival of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) in sub-Saharan Africa is less than three months.
Speaking at the end of the 3 days training tagged “Hepatitis Eradication Project: Training and Outreach”, the rotary district 9125 governor, Ayoola Oyedokun said this training is to create awareness on the danger of the hepatitis that kill faster than HIV, Covid-19 and malaria that is ravaging Nigeria, Africa and the rest of the world.
“That is why hepatitis eradication is an important project that Rotary is embarking upon. This is the first set of the training that we have started.
“We have over 30 of them that has commenced training to help in understanding the disease they are going to the field to talk about and they will have to talk about this to the citizens so that they will have to understand why they need to be tested.
“By training them, they will know everything they need to know about hepatitis, collect samples and counsel the people that are affected because some would come out negative or positive.
“For those that will come out positive, there must be a counsel process that would make them understand that it is not a death sentence they have be given.”
Similarly, the member of Rotary Action Group on Hepatitis, Rotarian Maryam Ahmed, also said Rotary has an intention or desire to achieve just like it has achieved the polio on zero in Nigeria.
“We also intend and desire to achieve hepatitis zero level in Nigeria as soon as possible. This has started and this is part of what we are doing other clubs have done it. And by the time you start this, it means you continue with the adopted community.
Also, the president of the Rotary Club Abuja Garki Neighbourhood, Solomon Bala said the Neighbourhood is dealing with one of the seven areas of focus of Rotary International, which is disease prevention and treatment.
“That is what we’re going to do in our community now because hepatitis is a killer diseases, a killer disease that people are not aware of. So we are here to impact and do that.”