According to the Society for Gastroenterology and Hepatology in Nigeria, approximately 13 per cent or one in 10 Nigerians have chronic hepatitis.
Channels Television’s health correspondent, Yomi Otaigbe, reports that medical experts are advocating better awareness and improved services in the area of vaccination, blood and injection safety.
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis viruses are the most common cause of the condition around the world but other infections, toxic substances such as alcohol, certain drugs and autoimmune diseases can also cause hepatitis.
There are five main hepatitis viruses referred to as types A, B, C, D and E.
There are different ways of contracting the viruses. Hepatitis A and E are typically caused by ingestion of contaminated food or wat while hepatitis B, C and D are usually as a result of contact with infected body fluids.
Early diagnosis of hepatitis, however, is crucial before symptoms such as pain in the belly, dark urine or jaundice begin to manifest.
The diagnosis of hepatitis is as important as its treatment. Hepatologists say the patients need support when it comes to treating the condition.
Prevention is always better than cure. While personal and food hygiene are key factors, in the case of hepatitis B, there is a vaccine.
Viral hepatitis is said to be 50 to 100 per cent more infectious than HIV.
You can know your status by getting tested.
If you are negative get the complete three doses of hepatitis B vaccine. but if positive, get prompt treatment.