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GOVERNMENT SAYS 18,429 NASARAWA RESIDENTS TEST POSITIVE FOR HEPATITIS

The Nasarawa State Government has said that no fewer than 18,429 residents of the state have tested positive for viral Hepatitis B and C.

The state Commissioner for Health, Pharm. Ahmed Yahaya made the disclosure during a press briefing held in commemoration of the 2022 World Hepatitis Day tagged ‘Bringing Hepatitis Care Closer to You, in Lafia on Thursday.

He explained that a total of 181,946 residents were screened but 18,429 tested positive for the disease, adding that some of the infected persons were presently taking treatments in government hospitals across the 13 Local Government Areas of the state.

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He said that 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 28th day of July in order to increase the visibility of this disease and attract more resources for the battle against it, as well as to bring succour to the people affected by the viral Hepatitis while aiming to curb its spread.

In Africa, it is estimated that about 15-60% of the normal population are living with either HBV or HCV, while the national burden for HBV & HCV stands at 8.1% & 1.1% respectively (NATIS. 2018).

The Commissioner further narrated that in order to swiftly tackle the virus, the state government created testing centres across the 13 LGAs for mass community screening, and called on residents to avail themselves of the screening.

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He also wants to appeal to all residents of the state to spread the Hepatitis message widely and emphasize the adoption of preventive measures that will reduce the further spread of the disease.

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