World Hepatitis Day: Over 19 million Nigerians have Type-B hepatitis

Hepatitis virus
                            Hepatitis virus

It has been discovered that about 19 million Nigerians are carriers of type-B hepatitis virus.

In this year’s event in remembrance of the World Hepatitis day, the Country Director of African Nation’s Development Programme (ANDP) Mr Ifeanyichukwu Eze revealed that not less than 19 million Nigerians are affected with the disease.

He explained that swelling of the liver is caused by one or more of the five major types of the virus (type A, B, C and E).

According to him; “The preliminary studies done by the Federal Ministry of Health in 2013 revealed that we have 19 million Nigerians affected by hepatitis B.’’

Hepatitis B and C in Nigeria are the major causes of chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and the second leading cancer mortality, worldwide.

Hepatitis B is a vaccine preventable disease that is 50 to 100 times more infectious than HIV and is transmitted through exposure to infectious blood, semen and other fluids. This is transmitted vertically from infected mothers and unsafe sexual intercourse.

It can as well be transmitted through the transfusion of Hepatitis B Virus infected blood (HBV), unsafe medical procedures, sharing of needles among injection drug users and horizontally between children.

HBV is not a curable disease, however antiviral treatment has been shown to reduce the risk of transmission, the possibility of developing complications and death.’’

It was also gathered that Experts have advised that, creating awareness about the disease, would help to save an average of 7 million lives globally by year 2030.

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