BY ISAAC OLAMIKAN
Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, says early testing for Hepatitis and an aggressive and sustained grassroots sensitisation on the danger of the disease would reduce the deaths from what experts describe as “one of the biggest global health threats of our time.”
Obaseki gave the advice on the occasion of the commemoration of World Hepatitis Day, celebrated on July 28, each year.
He assured that the Edo State’s decision to reconstruct and revamp health care centres across the state beginning with primary health care centres was informed by the need to extend modern health care services to all Edo people and residents.
The governor urged Edo people and residents to prioritise their health, which he said, “is a major feature on the wellbeing index” and explained that regular health checks at the hospital would save millions of people the troubles and much of the burden of the disease as well as deaths.
He lauded the effort of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and its global partners in raising global awareness of the disease.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said that “worldwide, 300 million people are living with viral hepatitis unaware. Without finding the undiagnosed and linking them to care, millions will continue to suffer, and lives will be lost.”
The United Nations body called on people from across the world to take action and raise awareness “of the group of infectious diseases known as Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E and encourage prevention, diagnosis and treatment as Hepatitis affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide, causing acute and chronic disease and killing close to 1.4 million people every year.
The global body explained that “following the adoption of a resolution during the 63rd World Health Assembly in May 2010, World Hepatitis Day was given global endorsement as the primary focus for national and international awareness-raising efforts, to provide an opportunity for education and greater understanding of viral hepatitis as a global public health problem, and to stimulate the strengthening of preventive and control measures of this disease in Member States.”
World Hepatitis Day is now recognised in over 100 countries each year through events such as free screenings, poster campaigns, demonstrations, concerts, talk shows, flash mobs and vaccination drives, amongst many others, the organisation said.