How we are tackling the Hepatitis scourge -LASG

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Lagos State Government has once again restated its commitment to the reduction and elimination of the Hepatitis scourge by deepening public sensitisation and awareness as well as providing free screening and vaccination programmes.

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Speaking on Thursday after an awareness walk around Alausa-Ikeja community to commemorate World Hepatitis Day in Lagos, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye, noted that the determination of the State Government aligns with the T.H.E.M.E.S. goal targeted at improving the prevention, control and management of diseases.

In his words; “Lagos State Government is determined, more than ever, to bring this scourge of Hepatitis to an end by providing free Hepatitis awareness, screening and vaccination programmes which align with the T.H.E.M.E.S goal of improving the prevention, control and management of diseases while reducing the incidence and impact of public health emergencies”.

Explaining that Hepatitis is an infection of the liver which causes inflammation and damage, Ogboye said that the commitment of the present administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu towards the prevention, care and treatment of Viral Hepatitis in Lagos has been displayed through both political and financial support towards achieving universal health coverage built on a sustainable primary healthcare system.

The Permanent Secretary noted that the theme of the Year 2022 World Hepatitis Day – “Bringing Hepatitis Care Closer to You”, is a reminder that Hepatitis is a killer disease and, therefore, there is a need to bring care closer to citizens through awareness, prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

“The theme is also reminding us of the commitment to eliminate Viral Hepatitis as a public health menace by reducing its incidence and mortality rates by 95% and 65% respectively by the year 2030 which is achievable”, he said.

Dr. Ogboye stated that screening, vaccination and treatment for Hepatitis B and C are undertaken in outpatient departments of the State healthcare facilities.

“In addition, screening is done for blood and blood products that are utilised for blood transfusion and these are coordinated and regulated by the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Services (LSBTS) to ensure blood safety”, the Permanent Secretary said.

Speaking in the same vein, the Director of Disease Control, Dr. Rotimi Agbolagorite, stated that the fight against hepatitis requires the cooperation and support of all citizens, giving assurance that the State government will continue to engage relevant stakeholders and citizens in the prevention and control of the disease.

“Lagos State Ministry of Health routinely conducts community awareness, enlightenment and sensitisation campaigns to raise the level of education of the people on hepatitis prevention, control and management. We believe this will help reduce the scourge of hepatitis and accelerate the quest to eliminate the disease”, he said.

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