By Benson Ezugwu
Calabar – The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) on Friday in Calabar conducted hepatitis test for its personnel in Cross Rivers.
The state Comptroller of Immigration, Mr Okey Ezugwu, while flagging off the exercise said it was necessary for people to know their status for early treatment rather than die out of ignorance.
“The story I heard about hepatitis is very scary; especially hepatitis C. So, I decided that we must do whatever we can to prevent it at least in our command.
“I believe the first thing is for people to know their status. Any disease or sickness is curable or can be managed with early diagnosis,” Ezugwu said.
He added that beyond testing, the exercise would also serve as sensitisation for officers of the command.
The comptroller said that the various diseases and ailments bedevilling the society today was complex, and required constant medical tests.
He thanked the state Ministry of Health for their cooperation in supplying some of the kits used for the test.
He also commended the Corps member serving with the command, Dr Ibe Chiemezie, for rallying round to ensure the take-off of the exercise.
Ibe said he was moved by the nature of duties carried out by immigration officers which exposes them to diseases including hepatitis.
“Officers sacrifice a lot in the course of their duties, and that is why it is good for them to know their hepatitis status.
“By knowing their status, it will also help them in fashioning ways of managing it,” he said.
He noted that about 270 million people worldwide were living with hepatitis B, adding that if poorly managed, it can lead to C and eventually to cancer.
Ibe said he mobilised other health workers to ensure the success of the exercise due to its importance to the officers of the command and society in general. (NAN)
By Benson Ezugwu