World hepatitis day, 28th of July 2021, came with the theme ‘hepatitis can’t wait’. True to these words, hepatitis is on the freeway with its feet on the gas throttling away. With the speed with which it is moving, we may not attain the WHO target of elimination in 2030.
In the light of the above, the Rural Doctor Initiative put together a program of intervention to mark this year’s event.
It took the fight of awareness and screening to the people of Southern kaduna in two of its rural communities called Gidan Waya and Godogodo, in Jema’a LGA, Kaduna State, North-west Nigeria. Hepatitis is known to be endemic in parts of North-west, North-Central and parts of South-West Nigeria. The targets for the RDI were the risk groups of pregnant women and young adults in secondary schools.
The week-long event kicked off with a courtesy call on the secretary of health in Jema’a LGA, Dr. McDeri Musa Ayuba, where both parties agreed to put their best foot forward in tackling the menace.
A virtual seminar was held with the topic “viral hepatitis in simple terms: demystifying the myth” that was aptly delivered by none other than an authority in the field of hepatitis, a consultant hepatologist in Norfolk University, United Kingdom, Dr. Nimzing Ladep, PhD. Over 100 mixed audiences were in attendance. It was exciting as it was enlightening.
The remaining days saw the RDI in the field paying scheduled visits to 2 primary health care centres where awareness lectures were delivered to pregnant women with their full participation and uptake of services such as screening exercises.
Several volunteers made themselves available for free of charge and gladly took ownership of the program.
The RDI, through its founder, Dr Okeme Arome, promised to sustain the fight against hepatitis in Nigeria until such a time when the disease is brought under full control. He appreciated all who made the week-long event a grand success urging them not to relent as the fight was just beginning…