Thursday, February 2, 2017 4:33 pm
An Abuja based NGO, Family Holistic Care Foundation (FAHCAF) has announced plans to conduct Free Hepatitis B screening exercise and subsidized Hepatitis B vaccination for residents of Federal Capital Territory next Saturday, 4 February.
FAHCAF is conducting the free exercise and in collaboration with the Family Care Multiclinics Limited.
The free screening will take place at Family Care Multiclinics Limited, 9 Lord Lugard Street, Area 11, Asokoro, Abuja from 9am to 2pm.
While explaining the reasons for embarking on the free screening, Dr. Abdulrahman I. Danjuma, Chief Executive Officer, FAHCAF said hepatitis B is an infectious disease caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) which affects the liver and can cause both acute and chronic infections.
He added that the best way to discover if one is infected is to go through regular screening, as according to him, many people may not experience any symptoms if they are infected, especially in the early stages.
Dr Danjuma said while some may develop signs such as general ill-health, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, body aches, mild fever, yellowish skin, tiredness, dark urine and abdominal pain and itchy skin,if they are infected, often the symptoms last a few weeks and rarely does the initial infection result in death.
However, he noted that at it with chronic stage, hepatitis B disease may eventually lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer, which are complications that usually result in death.
Dr Danjuma also noted that the virus is transmitted by exposure to infectious blood or body fluids, intravenous drug use, sexual intercourse, blood transfusions and transfusion with other human blood products, dialysis, use of unsterilized needles in tattooing and acupuncture, re-use of contaminated needles and syringes and vertical transmission from mother to child during childbirth.
While noting that the infection is 100 times more infectious than HIV, Dr Danjuma however said Hepatitis B viruses cannot be spread by holding hands, sharing eating utensils, kissing, hugging, coughing, sneezing, breastfeeding, etc.
He also advised that vaccination is recommended on the first day and two other doses at a later time for full effect for those who were discovered to be negative after the screening.
For those who have the infection, he added that said treatment is recommend and as part of the free screening exercise tomorrow, FAHCAF would be giving advise on appropriate ways to manage the conditions.
Famiy Care Multiclinics has also agreed to offer subsidized vaccinations to the general public to combat the deadly infectious disease, he added.