Hepatitis B: Group trains hairdressers, barbers on best practices

Hepatitis B: Group trains hairdressers, barbers on best practices

Tuesday, June 11, 2019 1:27 pm

Participants at the training

A group, `Kashim Ibrahim Fellows (KIF)’ on Tuesday trained 120 hairdressers and barbers in Kaduna metropolis, on international best practices to curb the spread of Hepatitis B Virus (HBV).

Dr Tasiu Ibrahim, a medical doctor and KIF fellow, explained at the opening of the one-day training in Kaduna that hairdressing and barbing were among major avenues of contracting and spreading the virus.

Ibrahim said that the training, which is free, was part of the KIF mandatory community service to give back to the community.

Ibrahim explained that the nature of hairdressing and barbing, which often involved blood and body fluids, predisposes the service providers and their customers to high risk of contracting the virus.

He said that hairdressers used the same kits in dressing people’s hair without properly disinfecting them to prevent transmission of viruses and diseases.

“There is also the issue of injuries that could occur from use of relaxers which could put everyone at risk of contracting the virus.

“In the same vein, barbers also use same clippers and other sharp object on all customers which the current use of spirit and flame does not kill the hepatitis virus.

“Among other means, HBV can be transmitted through contact with blood and body fluid like sweat and both hairdressers and barbers use their hands to clean customers, which could also transmit the virus,” he said.

He said that about 27 million Nigerians were currently infected with the disease, placing an average Nigerian at 60 per cent risk of contracting the virus.

“This is why we, the Kashim Ibrahim Fellows decided to embark on massive awareness campaign tagged “KIF against Hep-B” on the dangers of the virus and how to prevent its spread.

“Yesterday we were at Kaduna Polytechnic where we sensitised and counselled about 500 students among which 300 were tested.

“Today we are here with you, to also enlighten you about the virus and how to adopt universal precautionary measures and international best practices to keep people safe.

“For example, instead of using spirit and flame which does not kill the virus, you can use a bleach or hypo solution to clean your kits and wash your towels and other fabrics.

“Similarly, instead of using their bare hands, they can use soft cotton fibers to clean customers.

“These among other best practices is what we want to share with the participants with the main goal of protecting themselves and their customers against HBV,” he explained.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that that the Kashim Ibrahim Fellows inaugurated in August 2018 by Gov. Nasir El-Rufai, is a one-year leadership training programme to build a new generation of leaders for effective public service

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