The leadership of the Women and Children Health Empowerment Foundation (WACHEF) has disclosed that it treaded extra legitimate miles to facilitate the integration of the testing and management of viral hepatitis B and C into the just adapted Task Sharing /Task Shifting in Taraba state.
The group said the move, which was necessitated by the current high prevalence of the disease in the state and the country at large, compelled the Non- Governmental Organization (NGO), Women and Children Health Empowerment Foundation (WACHEF) to take it upon itself to facilitate the integration of the testing and management of Viral hepatitis B and C into the state Task -Sharing /Task-Shifting policy.
The reasons which was disclosed in Jalingo, the state capital, was said to be geared at ensuring quality and essential health care services across the state and the country.
WACHEF whom The Guardian learnt is a member of The World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA), said the move has become necessary in order to reduced to the barest minimum or eradicate the viral hepatitis, which according to them is fast spreading than Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome from the state.
The Project Director, Ibrahim Malik, who made this known said the integration was made possible following the support from development Research and Project Center, through the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health.
The process, according to him, was actualised through series of advocacies, consultative, as well as dialogue meetings involving key stakeholders, which he said includes the World Health Organization (WHO), the State Ministry of Health, the State Primary Health Care Development Agency (TSPHCDA), Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN), Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNN), Medical and Health Workers Union (M&HWU) among others.
Viral hepatitis, which according to Malik remains a disease of public health concern, has continued to be on the increase especially in the state, hence the need for collective decision to integrate it in the said policy for essential health care services across the nooks and crannies of the state.
Malik, who said recent survey indicated that Nigeria has 8.4 percent prevalence of viral hepatitis B and 11 percent of hepatitis C, stressed that with all hands on deck, “the possibility of reducing or flushing out the disease from the state and the nation at large is achievable.”
He urged all the relevant stakeholders to join forces with WACHEF to stamp out hepatitis and other childhood diseases from the state.