GENERAL HOSPITAL IJEDE MARKS Y2021 WORLD HEPATITIS DAY

… Says Excessive Intake of Alcohol Can Damage the Liver.

The Principal Nursing Officer (PNO), Child Welfare Clinic, General Hospital, Ijede, Mary Okoh has disclosed that excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to inflammation and damage to the liver.

Okoh, who revealed this in her lecture delivered on Wednesday at an event organised by the facility to mark the year 2021 World Hepatitis Day, explained that alcohol damages the liver cells and can, over time, lead to liver failure or cirrhosis.

She said those who consume alcohol excessively have the chances of having hepatitis and alcoholic hepatitis, maintaining that signs and symptoms of liver failure include bleeding disorders, build-up of toxins, and collection of fluids in the abdomen which can lead to death.

Speaking further, Okoh described Hepatitis as an inflammatory condition of the liver often commonly caused by a viral infection, adding that other possible causes include autoimmune and non-viral hepatitis.

Her words: “There are five types of viral hepatitis, namely Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. Hepatitis A is often caused by consuming food or water contaminated by faeces of an infected person, it is commonly acute; B is transmitted through infected body fluids such as blood, semen, vagina secretions, sharing of sharp objects from infected persons, sexual intercourse, mother to child and so on”.

“Hepatitis C is transmitted the same way as B; the causes of D is the same as B and C, while E is gotten from contaminated water or food as well”, she added.

While informing that the World Health Organisation (WHO) says about 354 million people worldwide live with hepatitis B or C, Okoh averred that Hepatitis B and C present no signs and symptoms, stressing that signs and symptoms usually manifest after the liver function has been damaged from between six months to 10 years.

The PNO submitted that some signs and symptoms to watch out for in hepatitis A include fatigue, flu-like symptoms, dark urine, loss of appetite, abdominal pain and so on, adding that proper hygiene, avoiding uncooked shell fish or oyster, washing of fruits and vegetables before consumption, avoiding sharing of needles and sharp objects or toothbrushes and practising safe sex among others are some of the ways to reduce the chances of getting hepatitis.

Okoh, however, urged Lagosians to stop the intake of excessive alcohol, ensure they go for regular routine check-ups in order to know their status and get vaccinated to reduce the number of people living with hepatitis.

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