World Hepatitis Day: 567,000 suffering from hepatitis in Ogun – Commissioner

The Ogun state government Tuesday expressed worry over the increasing number of people suffering from Hepatitis B in the state, disclosing that over 567,000 people are suffering from the deadly disease in the state.

The commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker, who disclosed this at a press conference organised to mark the 2020 World Hepatitis Day in Abeokuta, the state capital, said the figure was equivalent of 8.1 per cent of the state’s total population of 7million.

Coker who spoke through a Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Adesanya Ayinde explained that hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver that cause a range of health problems, including liver cancer was the second killer infectious diseases after tuberculosis.

She lamented that the disease had received no attention in the past, saying that the increase in the number of hepatitis patients was alarming.

Coker revealed that Nigeria remained one of the countries with the highest burden of hepatitis with prevalent of about 29 million patients.

“As part of our prevention method, Hepatitis B virus infection causing chronic liver diseases has received little or no attention in the past, thus constituting a major public health hazard,” she said.

Coker disclosed that the state government had embarked on the testing of pregnant women in the three Senatorial Districts, saying that adequate care was being taken to ensure those positive of the virus does  not further transmit the virus.

“It is a routine thing that pregnant patients are tested in the state and adequate care is taken to ensure that those who are positive do not transmit the virus to those who are not. Also, hepatitis immunisation is now a routine thing in the state,” she said.

Coker stressed the need for complete immunisation of new born babies and infants with all necessary antigens including Hepatitis B vaccine was critical in ensuring a hepatitis-free Ogun state.

“All pregnant mothers must be offered Hepatitis B screening and other necessary test as a comprehensive package of care during antenatal care,” she said.

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