Member representing Eket/ONNA/Esit Eket/Ibeno Fedral Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Okpolupm Etteh, has appealed to Federal and State Governments through their respective Ministries of Health, Information and the National Orientation Agency to intensify efforts in the fight against the viral Hepatitis.
Hon. Etteh, who is also the Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on University Education, stated this at the weekend during interaction with newsmen in Abuja while commemorating the 2023 World Hepatitis Day, themed “We Are Not Waiting.”
He urged government to make the fight against the sickness effective by empowering communities to confront the challenge head-on and prioritizing prevention campaign and public awareness.
Hon. Etteh said, “As the world’s hepatitis community unites today to make their voices heard, I sincerely appeal to the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Information and the National Orientation Agency at both federal and state level to double effort and create more awareness against the deadly Hepatitis. They should make drugs available to Nigerians in all Primary Health Centres across the nation.”
The Federal Lawmaker said though Hepatitis has continued to pose a threat to public health worldwide, it was disheartening to know that over 19million Nigerians are living with the viral disease.
He stressed that “viral hepatitis knows no boundaries, It affects people regardless of age, gender, or socio-economic status, therefore the burden of this disease on families, communities, and healthcare systems cannot be underestimated.
“It is important that communities are empowered to confront this challenge head-on, by prioritizing prevention education and public awareness which are key weapons in the fight against viral disease.
“The 2023 WHD is another opportunity for us to celebrate the progress we have made so far as a nation and to also rise to meet the current challenges. Awareness must be increased and encouraged. Those of us in the political class must facilitate prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the viral Hepatitis. We must take action because Hepatitis Can’t Wait.”He further tasked Nigerians to endeavour to collectively raise Hepatitis awareness, know their hepatitis status and to spread the word about treatment.