A consultant endocrinologist at the Akure annex of the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital, Ondo, Dr Adenike Enikuomehin, has warned that careless body piercing for tattoo puts people at risk of contracting Hepatitis. Enikuomehin, in a statement, said there must be more enlightenment on why people should be careful of the kind of sharp objects they use for incisions.
The consultant endocrinologist said, “Sharing of sharp objects is now common these days, especially with the advent and acceptability of tattoos and scarification marks. People appear to be less bothered whether the sharp objects are sterilised before being used on them. This puts them at the risk of contracting hepatitis.” She said one of the ways people contracted chronic hepatitis was through sharing of unscreened blood or contact with sharp objects.
She, however, said early diagnosis and treatment of the disease would help reduce the increasing incidence of liver problems and deaths. The expert also called for more investment in diagnostic tests and medicines for treating hepatitis to save lives and reduce the costs of long-term care associated with liver cancer.
“We can invest in eliminating hepatitis by going for screening to know one’s status and vaccinating a child at birth which is free. Government should also show more concern and care for the campaign against hepatitis,” she added. Also, a dental surgeon with the Ondo State Government, Dr Folasade Akinwande, said this year’s world hepatitis day held on July 28 was another opportunity for stakeholders to raise the awareness on the need for regular screening for the viral disease.
However, according to the World Health Organisation, Nigeria has a high burden of viral hepatitis B and C at a prevalence rate of 11.2 per cent and 2.0 per cent, respectively.