Nigeria: ’20 Million Nigerians Carry Hepatitis Virus’

Experts have said about 20 million Nigerians are carriers of the Hepatitis virus and described the disease as a silent killer, adding that eliminating it is capable of increasing economic growth and saving 7.1 million lives by 2030. Senior Research Fellow and Consultant Pediatrician at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Dr. Damien Nwaneri disclosed this at the flag-off of a three-day Hepatitis-B Awareness and Prevention Campaign, organised by Development Africa (DA), which held in Lagos recently. Nwaneri described Hepatitis-B as inflammation of the liver tissues and noted that it carries high morbidity, adding that emphasis should be on prevention because treatment is not always complete. While noting that some per cent of infected persons carry the virus for life, he advised every adult Nigerian to go for testing to ascertain their Hepatitis status, and urged infected persons to go for vaccination.

The three-day event was sponsored by Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria in collaboration with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Sapetro, Petrobras, and CNOOC. DA is a charity and international non-governmental organisation with a mission to build sustainable and accessible solutions to promote healthcare and education. “There are different types of Hepatitis; Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E .Approximately 20 per cent of Nigerians have Hepatitis. There are different types of Hepatitis, Hepatitis-B is an inflammation of the liver tissues and it carries high morbidity rate. “It is advised that all adult Nigerians should go for testing to ascertain their Hepatitis status and to go treatment if infected. However; emphasis should be on awareness and preventive because the treatment is not always complete as some carriers of the virus carry it for life”, Nwaneri, who is also the Senior Medical Consultant to Development Africa stated.

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