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‘18 million Nigerians living with hepatitis’

Director, National AIDS/STI Control Programme, Akudo Ikpeasu, says Nigeria has a very high burden of hepatitis virus. According to her, it is estimated that the…

Director, National AIDS/STI Control Programme, Akudo Ikpeasu, says Nigeria has a very high burden of hepatitis virus.

According to her, it is estimated that the country has about 18 million people living with hepatitis.

“For hepatitis B, we estimate about 16 million, and for hepatitis C, about 2.2 million.”

She was speaking in Abuja on Monday at a press conference to mark the World Hepatitis Day 2020 with the theme “Hepatitis-Free Future”.

She stressed the need for everyone to be tested for hepatitis and if negative, the person should take vaccine “and if positive, treatment is available all over the country.”

President, Hepatitis Zero Nigerian Commission, Dr Mike Omotosho, says about 500 million people globally suffer from hepatitis out of whom 1.4 million die annually.

“If we break it down, we will realise that almost 4,000 people die yearly from hepatitis and hepatitis-related ailments.   Indeed, hepatitis is a silent killer,” he said.