By Chika Okeke, Abuja
The national president, Guild of Medical Directors, Dr. Tony Phillips has disclosed that about two million Nigerians are living with hepatitis.
To this end, he said that the guild would hold its 24th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference on Eradication of Hepatitis in Abuja today with the theme, “Lets make Nigeria Hepatitis Free”.
He confirmed that there would be free screening, counseling and possible referral for treatment on hepatitis with the latest technology to be deployed by MEDICAID and Firmcare Diagnostics.
The conference which is expected to attract medical directors, health care providers, medical supply companies, officials from the Ministry of Health, allied Health agencies and the public would further proffer solutions on the scourge of hepatitis in Nigeria.
According to him, “Hepatitis is a very silent ailment that does not manifest until it is too late and it causes destruction because the organ that it affects which is the liver, does not give signal until when it has gone very far; it only shows when the damage has been done”.
He said though Nigeria could be free from hepatitis in the nearest future, that hepatitis is a stubborn ailment. “It takes time to be cleared but let us start from somewhere; we dont want to get more people affected because if you reduce more infection you will now reduce the spread and by the time those who are having it are treated and cleared, we can make Nigeria hepatitis free”.
On his part, “the Chairman, Local Organising Committee of GMD conference, Dr. Wisdom Ihejieto explained that major highlight of the conference would be the generation of data by the Guild across the States on the prevalence of Hepatitis in Nigeria.
This he said would be made available to the Federal Ministry of Health for the provision of vaccines across the states.
Also speaking, the President of Guild of Medical Directors Wives of Nigeria (GMD-WON) noted that the body would conduct a free hepatitis test at IDP Camp Kuchingoro, Abuja as part of the activities lined up to commemorate the conference.