12th April, 2019
Dr Fidelis Otokolo, a Public Health expert at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Bayelsa has advised commercial drivers to desist from excessive intake of alcohol to be free from Hepatitis B virus and guarantee a functional liver.
Otokolo, a community and public health physician, gave the advice on Friday at the ongoing medical outreach of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Ekeki park, Yenagoa.
The week-long programme tagged: “Good Sight, Essential for Safe Motoring and Accident Reduction” was to enable commercial drivers to know their health status and take caution.
He explained that Hepatitis B virus can be contacted through unprotected sex, sharing of needle and other sharp objects.
“It can also be contacted through blood transfusion without proper check; mother to child contact as well as high intake of alcohol.
“To prevent Hepatitis B virus, one must abstain from excessive intake of alcohol, abstain from keeping multiple sex partners and sharing of needles.
“Some symptoms of the virus are: change in colour of eye, itching in the body, sweating, lack of concentration, body weakness among others,” he said.
On prevention, he said the virus can be prevented by early detection through regular check up and through vaccination.
“Hepatitis B virus can cause cancer of the liver, people should not hesitate to know their status on time and get treated.
Also be rest assured that the virus is not the end of life,” he added.
Mr Eribo ThankGod, State Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) said the outreach was a welcome development in the effort to promote safer roads and good health.
“I urge my people to imbibe the spirit of taking care of their health and stay away from any drug or alcoholic drinks that can cause danger to their liver,” he advised.
Earlier the Sector Commander in Bayelsa, Mr Ikechukwu Igwe had told participants that the programme what to update them of the need to take care of their health.
Participants included taxi drivers, bus, tipper and truck drivers, including tricycle operators known as “keke, among others.
The five days programme which started on Tuesday would end on Saturday.