Gowon Flags-Off Free Hepatitis B Screening In Adamawa

Former head of state, Gen Yakubu Gowon, has flagged-off free screening and
vaccination, of 5000 people, against viral hepatitis B virus which
causes acute and chronic inflammations of the liver in Adamawa State.

Gowon, during the exercise at Specialist Hospital, Yola, said the
project is aimed at controlling the increasing prevalence of the
disease in the state.

He noted with concern that, out of 1500 people screened in
January,150 people tested positive with hepatitis B virus, which he
described as alarming and disturbing for the state.

He urged government to implement national policies and guidelines for
the control, suppression and treatment of the disease, for effective
and timely control of the virus in the state.

The project, which has been conducted by Yakubu Gowon Centre with the support of
PCNI,‎ is targeted at 5000 beneficiaries in the state.

“Treatment of affected persons with hepatitis virus and administering
vaccines, is the concern of Yakubu Gowon and the partners are free to
curtail the scourge in the state he maintained.

The Leader of the team, Nduka Ozor, said six screening centres have been
established across the state for easy access to the vaccines free of charge.

“We have established screening centres at FMC Yola, Specialist
hospital, all IDP camps in the state, Lamido place, Douragi hotel among others.

“Hepatitis B is more dangerous than HIV, you can easily contract the
virus. It is until you avail yourself for screening in one of the
centres
before you know your status.”

Dr Fatima Atiku Abubakar, commissioner for health, urged for speedy
integration of Hepatitis B into routine immunisation for adults
and children in the state.

According to her, the state has declared emergency in the health sector
to ensure health service delivery to all.

Fatima said 403 health Centres have been renovated and are working round
the clock to provide adequate health care service to the people of the state.

Mr Dhananjay Jagtap, Project Manager, Philips Pharmaceutical Nigeria
Limited, manufacturer of the vaccines, said the vaccines were subsidised
for affordability compared to the press in the United States.

Hamman Diram, PCNI Coordinator, Bello Hamman Diram, noted that Hepatitis
treament was expensive, thus the need for government intervention
support to make it affordable to people.

According to him, PCNI has expended a lot of money on purchase of viral
load machines, to facilitate the eradication of the virus in the
North-East region.

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