Nasarawa State Ministry of Health has said that 18,429 persons have tested positive for hepatitis in the state.
The Commissioner for Health, Ahmed Yahaya, revealed this at a press briefing to commemorate the 2022 World Hepatitis Day, yesterday, in Lafia.
According to him, 181,946 persons have so far been screened while 4,160 assessed for viraemia. He added that the 2,451 found viraemic were receiving treatment.
The commissioner explained that the state had, in February 2020, embarked on the elimination of viral hepatitis through the implementation of a five-year strategic plan to treat 124,000 patients in line with the Nasarawa Economic Development Strategy (NEDS), targeted at improving human capacity development.
His words: “The World Hepatitis Day is set aside by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to recognise viral hepatitis as a global public health challenge. It is commemorated every July 28 to increase the visibility of this disease and attract more resources for the battle against it, as well as bring succour to the people affected by viral hepatitis, while aiming to curb its spread.
“WHO estimates that about 296 million people worldwide are living with Hepatitis B (HBV). while about 58 million are living with Hepatitis. In Africa, it is estimated that about 15 to 60 per cent of normal population are living with either HBV or Hepatitis C (HCV), while the national burden for HBV and HCV stands at 8.1 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively. The Nasarawa burden stood at about 16 per cent and 13.2 per cent of sero-prevalence for HBV and HCV respectively. “
The commissioner noted that the state designated areas across the 13 local councils for community screening and called on residents to avail themselves the opportunity.
He appealed to the media to spread the hepatitis message widely while emphasising on the adoption of preventive measures that will reduce the further spread of the disease.