As part of activities to mark this year’s World Hepatitis Day, the Rotary Club (RC) of Abuja, reached out to over 250 people in Angwan Rogo community, in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Our correspondent reports that the beneficiaries were screened and vaccinated against Hepatitis, at the event themed: “Achieving The Elimination of Viral Hepatitis Within Evolving Health Systems”, jointly organised by leaders and members of the RC drawn from Maitama, Jabi-Lakeside, Gwarinpa and Wuse II, respectively,
The President of Rotary Club of Abuja, Maitama, Yusuf Ali, disclosed that currently, about 20 million Nigerians are infected by hepatitis, which explains the need to sensitise people on preventive measures, screening and vaccination against the deadly disease.
Ali noted that there are different types of hepatitis, but hepatitis B is the most dangerous, as once anyone is infected with it, there is no cure, as the carrier can only be referred to tertiary health institutions, where it can be managed for awhile.
“Rotary International as a non-governmental organisation is going into it for the sake of the people especially the masses. That’s why we are involved, and every year, we mark world hepatitis day, because it is part of the agenda of the World Health Organisation (WHO), and Nigeria is part of the global community, and we need to celebrate the day.
“So we are a non governmental organisation, and we are happy that this community embraced the initiative. They know that they are prone to communicable diseases, that’s why they are excited to be part of the exercise.
“We had started with sensitisation on how they can contract hepatitis and how to prevent it. You may be a carrier of hepatitis virus without you knowing, so I would advise that if you have not done the test, please go for it, as it is more dangerous than HIV/ AIDS, and that calls for caution”, he added.
Also speaking, President of Rotary Club of Abuja, Wuse II, Justina Oladotun, said it’s a flagg off exercise, as Rotarians are committed to helping out and giving out services above themselves to people, who are less privileged.
Similarly , President, Rotary Club of Abuja, Jabi Lakeside,
Adebanke Abiola Idowu, said if they are able to detect anyone with hepatitis B or C, they will given a referral to general hospitals where they can get further treatment.
“And Hepatitis B and C is a silent killer, and quite a number of people particularly children are not aware, that is why we are here to sensitise this community.
“And hopefully members of this community can reach out to, and further sensitise their families and friends who are not in the area”, she stressed.
Not left out, Youth leader of Angwan Rogo community, Agbaka Joseph, expressed excitement over the medical outreach, as it was a rare privilege to receive such support.
According to him: “In fact, this is what we never expect we happen in this community, but it’s a privilege for we to see this kind of thing in our community. All the people and entire leaders of the community are very grateful to Rotary Club.
“We don’t have any health clinic in this village, so we are appealing to the FCT Administration to give us assistance in resolve challenges especially in the area of healthcare in this community.
“We want government to intervene and help us so that we can a get a good health clinic in this community.”
On her part, a beneficiary, residing at Fafu Estate in the area, Mrs. Ada Juliet Anife, described the exercise as a welcome development, as the hepatitis testing, vaccines and awareness was brought free of charge to peoples doorsteps.
Anife, who thanked Rotary Club for reaching out to the less privileged, opined that many of them may be having the disease without even knowing, but because of lack of funds find it difficult to go for testing or treatment outside the community.