Lagos- Prof. Innocent Ujah, the Director-General of Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, on Wednesday urged Nigerians to go for regular hepatitis screening to prevent burden of the disease.
Ujah made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on the sideline of the free hepatitis screening organised by the institute.
“The feeling that probably, anybody who dies of cancer of the liver because he is a drunkard no longer holds.
“We believe that Hepatitis B has been responsible for cancer of the liver and we need to prevent this.
“How do we do that? By creating awareness and this informs our commitment to free testing for hepatitis.
“You will know your status, there are vaccines and then, you can go for the vaccines before you come down with it.
“Hepatitis B and C, which are the major culprits in terms of cancer of the liver are transmitted through blood and blood products.
“It is part of our corporate social responsibility to provide information to our people so that we can prevent some of these diseases.
“It will not solve the problem of all Nigerians, but we are setting the momentum, so that people can go out and do their test.
“What we are doing is to demonstrate, to create a model the value of screening. We are going to screening over 500 people today, if they are available.
“It is at no cost to them, something that will cost N30, 000, we are screening you for free. So, that not many more people will come down with hepatitis.“
Ujah said that hepatitis was one of the sixth deadliest diseases in the world with over 20 million Nigerians living with the infection.
According to him, hepatitis, which is a silent killer, is 100 times more infectious than HIV. (NAN)