Nigerian Army, Ikeja, Lagos, came alive weekend as officers of the Brigade among others benefited from series of free medical check ups.
Checks for blood pressure, height and weight, blood glucose, hepatitis and Body Mass Index (BMI), etc., were organised by MediCheck Health Screening Suite, as part of activities to mark World Hepatitis Day. Addressing the military officials, Medical Director of MediCheck Health Screening Suite, Dr. Adewale Owolabi said regular health checks were necessary to prevent ill health.
“Take for instance 80 per cent of all liver cancer cases are caused by hepatitis. So if hepatitis can be prevented many lives could be saved. “In 2015, World Health Organization, WHO had it on record that 1.34 million people died as a result of hepatitis which can only be compared to death from tuberculosis and more than HIV death.
It is regrettable that Nigeria and Uganda are among 11 countries responsible for 50 percent of hepatitis burden. “These translate to fact that if you take 100 people and do their hepatitis test randomly, you are likely to find 13 people testing positive which is very high. The WHO estimation shows that 10 percent of Nigerian population is living with chronic hepatitis.
Owolabi said anyone could be at risk of hepatitis as the means through which it can be contacted is more than that of HIV and people can live with it for many years without knowing. “Unsafe injections and medical procedures, unsafe sex, mother-to-child transmission, injecting drug use, body fluid or blood, exchange of sharp objects among others. “It is a condition that persons can be immunised against, but only for those that test negative.
The vaccination can be effective for 20 years after the completion of those sections of immunization.” In appreciation, Chief of Staff Headquarters, 9 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Col. I.A Ajose urged all to take full advantage of the medical mission. “We know that to undergo such comprehensive screening like this usually attracts charges, so for doing it for us free we are very grateful.”