Women in Hepatitis Africa WIHA was launched 12 months ago on April 26th 2017 in Lagos, Nigeria, during the 2nd Liver Health Conference #LHC2017 at which President Charles Gore of WHA gave an opening Goodwill speech.
WIHA has since then hit the ground running, with a lot of activities and programmes; collaborations and networking, including the hosting of its first biennial Regional Conference for women of Africa, focusing on Hepatitis and the Global Agenda of elimination by 2030.
Here are some of the activities of WIHA since inception:
1. AWARENESS, ADVOCACY, SCREENING AND VACCINATION:
As a new organisation barely a year old, WIHA has screened over 15,000 subjects to date, for Hepatitis B & C respectively; of which more than 60% of those screened are women. In addition to Screening, WIHA vaccinates with informed consent.
2. GEOGRAPHICAL COVERAGE:
WIHA has run its operations in 4 geopolitical zones of the country, having screened women for hepatitis in Lagos, Kaduna, Abuja, Port Harcourt, and Ibadan. In addition, WIHA has impacted at least 10 countries in Africa within a short time, having hosted and trained citizens from those countries, on Hepatitis
3. WORLD HEPATITIS DAY 2017:
On World Hepatitis Day #WHD2017 WIHA ran two concurrent and simultaneous programmes in Lagos and Abuja respectively, in partnership with its parent company LiveWell Initiative LWI, penetrating the Presidency at Aso Rock Villa and screening 150 top government functionaries and top aides at the Presidency, for Hepatitis B & C. The Advocacy at the Presidency was phenomenal and was carried to the next level when the team was invited to the Aguda House, Vice Presidents Lodge, where 85 citizens were screened.
The Wife of the Vice President of Nigeria, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, was honored with Membership of WIHA.
In Lagos WIHA simultaneously marked WHD2017 with a Corpoorate Health Outreach.
4. REGIONAL CONFERENCE:
As a young and budding global organisation with its Global Ambassador in the USA, and Head Office in Nigeria, WIHA hosted its inaugural Regional Conference on November 28th 2017 at Protea hotel, Ikeja GRA, Lagos Nigeria, ably supported by WHO Nigeria Office and Federal Ministry of Health Abuja. The WIHA Conference which hosted women from at least 8 African countries, will be held bienially.
5. WOMEN CHAMPIONS TRAINING #10BY20:
WIHA was able to ryn its first self-funded training for women as Hepatitis Champions, oon November 29th 2017 in Lagos Nigeria. The 100 women trainees from all disparities included pregnant women, lactating mothers, old women, young women, educated women, low literacy women, and women living with hepatitis B or C. The training which was supported by WHO with Federal Ministry of Health Director on the Faculty, was very successful. Trainees were certified and given a career organogram as Hepatitis Champions. They would form their Hepatitis Cells and become Cell Champion; and every active cell lead will be promoted to Cell Supervisor. Every Cell Supervisor will be integrated into the Teaching Faculty irrespective of their Sociodemographic status
6. WOMEN EMPOWERMENT THROUGH HEPATITIS INITIATIVES:
The women are forming their cells and we are recording great success, with low literacy women they are rallying their cell members and the educated women and healthcare professionals are doing the same. We are enhancing awareness, testing and vaccination.
7. DE-STIGMATIZATION, TREATMENT FACILITATION:
WIHA assists women living with viral hepatitis to access linkages to care through government designated treatment centres in Lagos State and Nassarawa State. The organisation automatically appoints such women as women leaders in hepatitis, to de-stigmatize them and to give them self confidence and esteem to carry on with the elimination agenda, advocacy and awareness creation.