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Enugu Gov’t, Pharmaceutical Company, Begin Free Screening For Hepatitis

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The Enugu State government on Tuesday flagged off free hepatitis B and C screening in collaboration with Sepat Pharmaceuticals Ltd with the aim of eliminating the diseases and controlling their spread in the state and country at large.

The State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ikechukwu Obi flagged off the free screening exercise at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology Teaching Hospital (ESUTH), Parklane, Enugu, on Tuesday.

Insisting that the state must take advantage of the free screening to be conducted by Sepat Pharmaceuticals Ltd from 19th to 24th March, Prof Obi said it was not only for the early detection of the diseases but would also serve as a means of data collection and help in the fight against the viral diseases in the state.

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“What we are here to address today is a disease that can go to your liver which is the engine of every human and start destroying it silently. The spectrum of medical and healthcare involves health promotion, health prevention, and treatment. .

“We will put hepatitis B and C at the front burner, and see how this silent killer can be put in abeyance in our state.

“The governor approved that it would be nice to have a situation where beyond carrying out free testing, it would be possible for the Ministry of Health to get very useful data which is even lacking at the national level. We are going to collect hard data which will help in making hard and necessary decisions that will save lives and our partners have also said they will also subsidize certain aspects of the treatment for hepatitis C patients that would be discovered within the period of the free screening,” he said.

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Speaking earlier, the Chairman of Sepat Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Dr. Pat Oramah, who lamented the rising scourge of hepatitis B and C among many Nigerians, said investing and encouraging promotional awareness for free screening was not only the right thing to do but the smart thing to do to save lives because it is a dangerous disease that kills silently.

“We are partnering with an Egyptian company called Faco Pharmaceuticals because Egypt has the highest number of hepatitis C in the world, but with Faco, our partners, within 2 years, Egypt is today hepatitis C free. And this is what we came to replicate here in Enugu.

“Dr. Peter Mbah is a developmental leader and he places a high premium on health which is why he gave us this platform to come to Enugu and conduct this free screening and we won’t stop there. Those who are found positive for hepatitis C will receive subsidised treatment,” Oramah stated.

Also speaking, the Chief Medical Director of ESUTH, Prof. Bertrand Ngwu, commended the governor for providing the platform that would help in saving the lives of the people, as he also pledged the dedication of the medical institution in ensuring that the mission and vision of the government and the Sepat Pharmaceuticals Ltd were achieved.

“Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E all affect the liver. The worst of them is the one that causes chronic inflammation, which are B and C. Hepatitis B and C cause liver cirrhosis, which mostly ends in liver cancer, and no man who has liver cancer often survives.

“We must applaud the governor for this initiative and partake in it. This is a clarion call from the ESUTH management and staff for everyone to be part of this vanguard to help the government and Sepat Pharmaceuticals Ltd to ensure that the people of Enugu State benefit maximally from this great initiative,” Ngwu stressed.

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