hepatitis population cmd
Nigeria's healthcare system has adverse effects on population control and hepatitis management.

CMD: Nigeria Struggles With Hepatitis B, Imminent Population Surge

According to Prof. Jesse Otegbayo, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan, Nigeria’s population surge has been projected to reach a staggering 401 million by 2050.

Speaking at the 548th Inaugural Lecture of the University of Ibadan, Otegbayo emphasized the urgent need for the Federal Government to address the nation’s healthcare system, institute Universal Healthcare, and implement measures to control the burgeoning population.

Otegbayo, a distinguished Professor of Medicine, Gastroenterology, and Hepatology, underscored the critical importance of these measures in averting the devastating impact of liver cancer and other health afflictions, while also improving life expectancy.

He highlighted the liver’s pivotal role in the body’s metabolic processes and immune function, emphasizing its susceptibility to diseases like Hepatitis B (HBV) and liver cancer.

In a separate interview with Credible News Room, Otegbayo reiterated the urgent need to combat the alarming trajectory of HBV leading to liver cancer.

Citing findings from a study among blood donors at UCH, he identified scarification and indiscriminate injections as common risk factors for HBV transmission, with a significant proportion of subjects exhibiting no identifiable risk factors.

Otegbayo stressed the importance of preventive measures such as vaccination, citing pioneering work by figures like Louis Pasteur and Baruch Blumberg in advancing HBV immunization.

Despite the availability of vaccines and their inclusion in national immunization programs, he lamented persistently low implementation rates, particularly among newborns and healthcare workers.

While commending efforts by institutions like the University of Ibadan to screen and immunize students against HBV, he called for more comprehensive strategies to address the root causes of transmission and combat liver cancer effectively.

Drawing on evidence from studies in countries like Gambia and Taiwan, he outlined key strategies from the African Organisation for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC) to prevent viral hepatitis, promote liver health, and dispel misconceptions about cancer.

He emphasised the importance of enhanced healthcare infrastructure, universal vaccination programs, and population control measures to curb the HBV epidemic and reduce the burden of liver cancer in Nigeria and beyond.

Thus, he urged for immediate action to prevent further loss of lives to this preventable disease, underscoring the urgent need for collaborative efforts to address these pressing health challenges.