World Hepatitis Day: All You Need To Know About Hepatitis
Today is ‘World Hepatitis Day’, we deem it fit to educate Nigerians on one of the killer diseases.
In view of this, Kapital FM had an interview with Dr. Ejike Oji , Chairman Coalition For Maternal Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health Accountability, on all you need to know about Hepatitis prevention, treatment and management.
What is Hepatitis?
This is simply put inflammation of the liver either by viral infections or due to toxic drugs or what is known as an autoimmune disorder. This means the body is fighting the cells of the liver.
How many types of Hepatitis do we have and their differences?
We have five main types of viral hepatitis A, B,C,D and E. And then the hepatitis caused by toxins and the autoimmune disorder.
How does Hepatitis spread?
They are spread either by water or exchange of blood or body fluids.
A and E are spread through eaten food or drinking water that is contaminated by the these viruses, while the B, C and D are spread due to exchange of body fluids eg sex and blood transfusion and needle prick injuries.
What are the common symptoms of Hepatitis?
Fever, headache weakness and yellowness of the eyes (jaundice) nausea , abdominal pain due to swollen liver and also ascitis (water in the abdomen).
How is Hepatitis diagnosed and treated?
By blood investigation and the liver enzymes will be very elevated and the type will be confirmed. The use of ultra sound will also help in making the diagnosis.
How is Hepatitis treated?
Treatment is by bed rest fluids some drugs that will improve the immune capacity of the body and improve liver function and anti viral drugs.
How do you prevent Hepatitis?
By getting vaccinated against the virus, by not exposing yourself to the body fluids of others especially people you do not know their status. High level of personal Hygeine and drinking portable water free from contamination.
Who is at risk of contracting Hepatitis?
People with risky behavior e.g.unprotected sex visiting people with the disease without taking precautions, Drinking contaminated water.
What other health complications could arise from Hepatitis?
Cirrhosis of the liver Cancer of the liver.
Can You Become Immune To Hepatitis ?
Yes someone can become immune to all the viral hepatitis infections except the C
This year’s theme for ‘World Hepatitis Day Celebration’ is ‘Eliminate Hepatitis’, how feasible is this?
Yes it is possible to eliminate by high level of personal Hygeine and vaccinations and avoiding situations that will increase the chances of blood contamination but very difficult because of the chronic nature and silent way some of the viruses present.
July 28 every year is an opportunity to add momentum to all efforts to implement the WHO’s first global health sector strategy on viral hepatitis for 2016-2021 and help Member States achieve the final goal which is to eliminate hepatitis.