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Hepatitis deadlier than HIV as medical experts advocate early screening

By Ebele Egoh

Enugwu Ukwu (Njikoka LGA), July 30, 2021 (MOI) The Medical Expert In-Charge of the General Hospital, Ogidi, Dr Kenneth Obianagha, says early detection of hepatitis through laboratory screening will save more lives.

He made the observation during an interview with journalists in his office at the General Hospital, Ogidi to mark the World Hepatitis Day.

Dr Obianagha explained that this year's theme for World Hepatitis Day: ``Hepatitis can't wait’’, called for urgent screening of everybody and treatment of those infected with the viral disease.

``There are five main types of Hepatitis -- A, B, C, D and E.

The B type is a viral Hepatitis strain and causes an inflammation of the lever, if not properly cured can lead to cancer of the lever. Hepatitis B is deadlier than HIV, and has a faster mode of transmission.

``Hepatitis B can be in the body for a long time, eating up the lever and causing more damage to the entire system,’’ he noted.

Hepatitis B can be transmitted through person to person and through mother to child.

``When a pregnant mother is diagnosed with Hepatitis B, there is a drug that will be administered to the child immediately after the mother has given birth to stop the child from being infected with hepatitis B,’’ Dr Obianagha said.

The medical expert noted that the clinical features of Hepatitis B, most times are asymptomatic; this means that one may have it without having any physical manifestations.

The symptoms are jaundice -- yellowish eyes; fever and loss of appetite. These could get worsened because of the viral load in the system. The spread increases gradually until it starts eating up the liver.

Dr Obianagha applauded the state government for its previous Hepatitis-free vaccination campaign but called for a renewed effort in ensuring that free vaccines were available for easy access to citizens.

``The state should continue to make vaccines available, not only the birth dose but also the adult dose.

``Adequate awareness should be created by the Government especially, in remote areas on the importance of everyone knowing their status,’’ he pleaded.

He enjoined Ndi Anambra to visit health facilities in time, because most people come to the hospitals when hepatitis B had already eaten up their livers.

``As a medical expert, I advise routine medical checkups or early screening for timely treatment.

``The same way we advise people to do their HIV test, is the same way we advise on Hepatitis B.

``Health workers are advised to take the vaccines because they are prone to being infected; they should take all the measures to protect themselves from getting infected.

Dr Obianagha reminded Ndi Anambra to live a healthy lifestyle, keep their environment clean and report to the hospital in time.

He also called on those on treatment to quit smoking and consumption of alcoholic drinks and take their medication as advised by their doctors.

``This will help them to reduce the prevalence rate and the number of people that can come down with Hepatitis B in future.

``Everyone should to raise their awareness level on Hepatitis B, because: `Hepatitis can't wait’.’’ (MOI)


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