The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has urged stakeholders in the health sector to collaborate with government in intensifying awareness campaigns to enlighten residents on the need for early diagnosis, treatment and risk factors which expose people to viral Hepatitis.
The governor said this in commemoration of the World Hepatitis Day marked every July 28, by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and its sister agencies.
He said, “As we commemorate the World Hepatitis Day, it is imperative to reaffirm the state government’s resolve to deepen reforms in healthcare sector and collaborate with stakeholders to afford residents the opportunity to access quality healthcare services for early diagnosis and treatment of ailments, including viral Hepatitis.
“The government will continue to invest in revamping more Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) through the Edo Healthcare Improvement Programme (EdoHIP) and improve access to quality and affordable healthcare through the Edo State Health Insurance Scheme (EdoHIS).
According to him, the state government will also sustain policies which support expansion of infrastructure, as well as the training and retraining of personnel in tackling public health threats such as hepatitis, adding, “We will improve collaborations with stakeholders to intensify public health campaigns to encourage residents go for testing and treatment of the ailment, and check habits which predispose them to the risk factors of the disease.
“Enrollees under the state’s health insurance scheme are being assigned to healthcare centres, where they will gain access to quality and affordable healthcare services; while vulnerable persons captured under the Equity Plan of the insurance scheme are also assigned to healthcare centres. This measure will encourage residents to develop the habits of going for regular medical check-up for early diagnosis of ailments and follow-up treatment.”
Commenting on the theme of this year’s commemoration, ‘Hepatitis can’t wait’, Obaseki said the state government’s healthcare interventions and consistent collaboration with stakeholders would immensely contribute to fast-tracking the hepatitis response in order eliminate the disease as a public health threat by 2030.”
According to the WHO, “World Hepatitis Day, 28 July, is an opportunity to step up national and international efforts on hepatitis, encourage actions and engagement by individuals, partners and the public and highlight the need for a greater global response as outlined in the WHO’s Global hepatitis report of 2017.
“Low coverage of testing and treatment is the most important gap to be addressed in order to achieve the global elimination goals by 2030.”