Dr Adesegun Adekale, the Consultant Gastroenterologist at Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex (OAUTHC), Ile-Ife, has urged Federal Government to prioritise the treatment of hepatitis from birth.
He gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ile-Ife, Osun State, on Thursday, to commemorate the World Hepatitis World (WHD).
NAN reports that WHD is observed each year on July 28 to raise awareness on viral hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver that causes severe liver disease and has “Hepatitis Can’t Wait” as the theme for 2021.
The liver disease, commonly caused by viral infection, but there are other possible causes, include autoimmune hepatitis and hepatitis that occurs as secondary result of medications, drugs, toxins and alcohol.The five types of viral hepatitis are: Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E, as a different virus is responsible for each type of virally transmitted hepatitis.
Hepatitis A is always an acute, short-term disease, while hepatitis B, C, and D are most likely to become ongoing and chronic, while Hepatitis E is usually acute but can be particularly dangerous in pregnant women.
According to Adekale, some countries that have moved forward and have been able to control hepatitis infections are those that their governments have taken ownership of its management.
The gastroenterologist, who commended President Muhammadu Buhari on his efforts in all sectors, especially health, therefore, Federal Government to spearhead the treatment of the disease through vaccination from birth.
He also stressed the need for mass screening and treatment for hepatitis B that is curable.
He added that “until government takes ownership either to fund it or to get funding from other sources,
treatment for hepatitis will continue to be difficult.
“The damage hepatitis is doing by causing liver cancer or liver cirrhosis can’t wait, except government
takes total charge.” (NAN)