Hepatitis today, remains a major health challenge globally, according to the US. CDC report, the group of viruses that specifically cause acute inflammation or hepatitis, are no lightweights when it comes to inflicting death and sufferings.
In view of the enormity of the hepatitis disease, our correspondent take on Doctor Illiya Dangana, Consultant Optician and Gynecologist, who is also the head of clinical services of the federal medical center, Jalingo in a breathtaking exclusive interview.
Taravoices: You are welcome to this exclusive interview Doc?
Doctor: Thank you, good afternoon my brother.
Taravoices: Hepatitis is a disease that is ravaging people in the society, despite various efforts made to curtail its spread, what can you say about this development?
Doctor: Yes. Hepatitis even from the word “hyper” – means something to do with the liver or swollen that destroy the cells of the liver. That is for the layman though! A lot can cause this but the commonest is “Virus.” When virus attacked the liver, it causes destruction and swollen of the liver, others that can cause it, are even chemicals, drugs, bacterias and other things, but the commonest is “Virus” and when it happens, either the human body can be able to fight it or not leading to chronic liver disease even Cancer.
Taravoices: Does the disease has a specific age that it affects?
Doctor: Anybody can be affected be it a child, adult or old ones.
Taravoices: Can you tell us the different types of hepatitis?
Doctor: There are different types of hepatitis. The notorious ones are hepatitis B and C gotten through blood, sleeping with one another, that is man and woman. So, it is advisable for everybody to come and do screening. Like myself, I have done mine several times and for those that have gone for the test and are negative would be immunised and be given vaccine that would last for …..ah…….ah 10 years depending, while those that are affected would commence treatment and early treatment would really assist the patient, Though, the drugs are expensive but are very effective in the treatment of hepatitis. Like I said before for emphasis we have hepatitis A,B,C,D.the commonest in our society are A,B,C.
Hepatitis A can be contacted through contaminated water, food, fruits, but B and C are the serious ones. There are others but the commonest ones that affect humans are A,B,C. Although the body normally fights hepatitis A.
Taravoices: Ok. Government and non governmental organizations have been on the fight to sensitize people on the disease,. Have they really made impacts?
Doctor: In Taraba there is prevalent rate of hepatitis especially people down from our area Takum, Wukari, Ussa, Donga and even people down here. The government and non governmental organizations even religious bodies normally conduct free general screening. The TY Danjuma foundation have tried their best in this area, but we want more people to join them.
Taravoices: Is there cure for hepatitis?
Doctor: Just like I have said before, it is better prevented than treated. We can get cure for it when we go for early treatment after measuring the viral load with the right drugs for a very long time. But it is unfortunate that people normally appear when they have establish protruded stomach, when destruction have been done to the liver at that point it would be difficult except liver transplant which you know is very cost.
Taravoices: Do we have any liver transplant center in the state?
Doctor: No! Not at all. I have not even hear about the center in this country.
Taravoices: People always visit hospitals when they are completely down. Your reaction?
Doctor: Like we always use to say. People should avail themselves for testing for the sake of maintaining good health. It is unfortunate that people show up when damage had been done so it is good for periodic check up. That is for everybody including you.
Taravoices: hmmmm Doc.
Taravoices: Ok your advice to Tarabans?
Doctor: I will always maintain that people in the state should use the federal medical center and the specialist hospital who are up to the task of taking care of any health related issues and make sure that they always go for check up for us to have a healthy society.
Taravoices: Doc.thanks for your time.
Doctor: Thank you my brother.