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A Professor of Medicine, Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Professor Jesse Abiodun Otegbayo has called on the Federal Government to address the nation’s health care system, institute Universal Healthcare, and put in measures to control the nation’s population which is estimated to reach 401 million by 2050.

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A vigorous pursuit of these measures, according to Professor Otegbayo, who is also the Chief Medical Director of the University College Hospital, Ibadan, would ensure the eclipse of liver cancer and other maladies as a scourge to the health of the people and improvement in life expectancy.

He gave these recommendations while delivering the 548th Inaugural Lecture of the University of Ibadan on behalf of the Faculty of Clinical Sciences.

Professor Otegbayo noted that population explosion is imminent in Nigeria, and this will overwhelm and overstretch the health care system, thereby worsening the health indices.

He stated that the managers of the nation’s health care system deserve a certain level of financial and training empowerment to be able to function optimally.

He noted that healthcare costs are expensive anywhere in the world.

The inaugural lecture was entitled “The Human Workhorse and Microbial Afflictions: Hepatitis B, Its Fatal Sting and the Tragic Trajectory”

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In the lecture, Professor Otegbayo submitted that the liver is the workhorse or powerhouse of the body because it plays crucial roles in carbohydrate, fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals metabolism, including drug detoxification of ammonia into urea, regulation of blood clotting, immunity, and many others adding that it is known to perform over five hundred functions in the body.

He stated that the liver is the largest solid organ in the body, which receives a huge supply of blood.

Consequent upon this huge flow of blood into the organ, he said that the liver is in constant contact with all the various elements that are transported in the blood which invariably include disease causing organisms and chemical compounds, some of which are injurious to the liver, and thus causing liver diseases.

He said diseases of the liver and its components of the biliary system are major causes of morbidity and mortality locally and worldwide.

Professor Otegbayo, therefore, advocated many strategies for the prevention of Viral Hepatitis, liver cancer, and strategies to promote liver health.

He called for the designation of regional specialised centres of excellence for infectious and liver diseases and the making of healthcare costs affordable.

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