Federal government has warned that hepatitis A, B, C, D and E are 50 to 100 times more infectious than the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
It therefore encourages every Nigerian to get screened, vaccinated for prevention and treatment.
The permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Linus Awute, sounded this warning in Abuja yesterday at an event to flag–off this year’s World Hepatitis Day with the theme: “Prevent Hapetitis. Act Now.”
Awute who was represented by the director, Public Health, Dr. Bridget Okoeguale said this year’s theme underscores the urgency at which the disease should be tackled and the attention that the disease requires.
He said, “There is the need for public hygiene which includes washing of fruits before eating, avoiding contaminated blood, among others.”
Awute also argued that though vaccines for the treatment of hepatitis is expensive, collaborative efforts from stakeholders like Yakubu Gowon Centre, Philips
Pharmaceuticals and National Health Insurance Scheme, has gone a long way in making the cost of treatment affordable.
With over 20 million Nigerians infected with the virus, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is alerting people to the risks of contracting hepatitis from unsafe blood, unsafe injections, and sharing drug- injection equipment.