Million Nigerians At Risk Of Hepatitis

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More than 90% of this burden is due to the sequelae of liver infections with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV).

Guwahati: On World Hepatitis Day on Saturday, GNRC Hospital here organised a free screening of liver, hepatitis B and C while an awareness talk on hepatitis was delivered by gastroenterology and hepatology department director Anjan Saikia.

Jabbour confirmed that 325 million people in the world suffer from Hepatitis B and viral Hepatitis C, which leads to liver cancer, resulting in 1.34 million deaths annually.

Inflammation of the liver (commonly known as hepatitis) can result from viral infection and as all the symptoms are almost close enough, without a diagnostic test, it is impossible to differentiate. Those who develop chronic hepatitis, subsequently develop cirrhosis which has effect on the brain and bleeding or jaundice and then end up requiring a transplant or they develop a liver cancer.

WITH 10 million Hepatitis B and C patients and working youths being at higher risk of hepatitis infection, there are reasons to treat this life-threatening disease as a major threat to public health.

Hepatitis C disproportionately impacts disadvantaged and marginalised groups, such as people who inject drugs (PWID). One of the most common causes of chronic (long-term) hepatitis is a viral infection.

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Nasarawa state government has disclosed that 1, 000 persons in the state would be screened and counselled for hepatitis on July 28, in order to eradicate the deadly diseases in the country.

"Health authorities should deploy clear messaging regarding the disease's signs and symptoms, where they can get tested and seek treatment, and how hepatitis infection can be prevented for example by vaccination for hepatitis B, and safe sex and safe needle usage for hepatitis B and C", Singh said. The guidelines enable major simplifications in the delivery of curative therapy to the 70 million people living with chronic hepatitis C in the world.

"World's target is elimination of viral hepatitis by 2030 like polio from the entire world and there is no reason that it can not be eliminated". It is spread through blood-to-blood contact.

Various blood tests are available to diagnose cases of hepatitis. "Both of them have some relationship because they are usually transmitted through blood and other body fluids", said Dr Enang.

World Hepatitis Day focuses on raising awareness of the global burden of viral hepatitis as a major health problem in need of an urgent worldwide response. The events will include health experts, global representatives and patient groups from across the world being a part of awareness seminars, shedding light on innovative solutions and partnerships needed for elaborate treatment services.

It also called on researchers to work on simplifying testing and treatment procedures, find a cure for Hepatitis B infection and a vaccine for Hepatitis C.

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