Hepatitis Day: more than 23,000 tests positive in Nasarawa

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By David Okpashi

Following the widespread of Hepatitis in Nasarawa state, more than 23, 000 people have tested positive to the disease in the state.

According to the figure released in the state Monday,a total of 23,224 residents of the state are positive to the viral Hepatitis B and C. and are battling with the disease.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health in the state, Dr. Janet Angbazo, disclosed the frightening figure in Lafia at a Press briefing to mark the 2023 World Hepatitis Day tagged ‘We are not waiting, one life, and one liver’

According to Angbazo, a total of 229,682 persons were screened, out of which, 23,224 residents tested positive to the disease, explaining further that some of the affected victims were presently being treated in government hospitals across the 13 Local Government Areas of the state.

“The World Hepatitis Day, is a day set aside by the World Health Organization to recognize viral Hepatitis as a global Public Health Challenge. It is commemorated every year to increase the visibility of the disease and attract more resources for the battle against it, as well as to bring succor to the people affected by the viral Hepatitis.

“I am here today to bring attention to the high burden of Hepatitis B & C in Nasarawa State, which surpasses the national average. Recognizing the urgency of this issue, the Nasarawa State government has committed to a five-year hepatitis B and C elimination plan. This ambitious plan aims to treat approximately 124,000 individuals within the next five years.

“It is the high burden of this dreaded disease in the state that led the state Ministry of Health with support from Clinton Health Access Initiative to establish the State’s Viral Hepatitis Control Program, creating an enabling policy environment to drive access to HBV/HCV diagnostic and treatment services.

According to the permanent secretary, significant progress has been made in the fight against Hepatitis in Nasarawa state, stressing that as of the moment 97 Healthcare workers have been trained across 17 Healthcare facilities while micro elimination have been achieved in three facilities in Awe, Keana, and Doma LGAs.

She therefore appealed to the general public to make themselves available for testing against HBV and HCV in government hospitals across the 13 LGAs of the state, as well avoid the use of unsterilized sharp objects, sharing of needles/syringes, and the transfusion of unscreened blood

“I also want to appeal to all residents of the state to spread the Hepatitis message widely and emphasize on the adoption of preventive measures that will reduce the further spread of the disease,” she added.

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