By Gabriel Olawale
lagos—The Federal Government yesterday said that over 22.6 million Nigerians were currently living with Hepatitis, with about 30 percent unaware of their status and not taking appropriate measures.
Disclosing this at the second Strategic Focus Group Discussion, on viral hepatitis organised by Livewell Initiative in Lagos, the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, said the most common type of hepatitis among Nigerians were hepatitis B and C, which could cause liver cirrhosis and cancer.
Adewole lamented that this transmittable infection was now common among students in secondary and tertiary institution across the country due to increasing social vices.
“About 19 million and over 3.6 million Nigerians are estimated to be infected with Hepatitis B virus, HBV and Hepatitis C virus, HCV respectively,” he said.
Represented by the Director, Family Health in the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi, the minister said the federal government had put in place modalities to confront the spread of the viral disease through prompt establishment of the viral Hepatitis Control Programme in 2013 and development of the first edition of the National Policy for the control of Viral Hepatitis in Nigeria.
“Our five years national strategic plan from 2016 to 2020 for the control of viral hepatitis in Nigeria is set to achieve elimination of the disease through awareness, diagnosis and interventions.