The Nasarawa State Government says that 1000 persons in the state are expected to be screened and counseled for hepatitis on July 28, to aid the eradication of the disease.
The state Commissioner for Health, said this in Lafia on Friday while briefing newsmen on the occasion of the World Hepatitis Day, which is celebrated annually on July 28.
Iya, who was represented Dr Ibrahim Adamu, Director, Public Health, urged the people to always avoid risky behaviour, to avoid being infected with the virus.
He said: “People should not share razors, toothbrushes, manicure tools and other items that could be contaminated with blood, to avoid being infected with the virus.”
Adamu said that the World Hepatitis Day is set aside by WHO, to increase awareness on viral hepatitis, improve its prevention, enhance early detection as well as to ensure prompt treatment, promote control efforts and ultimately eliminate it in the society.
He said: “Hepatitis is a viral disease that affects the liver; it is simply an inflammatory of the liver (acute and chronic). Viral hepatitis is a group of viral infections affecting the liver predominantly caused by five kinds of virus based on etiology, which is hepatitis A, B, C, D and E.
“Hepatitis A and E are usually transmitted via faecal-oral routes while B, C and D are via blood and body fluids and vaccination are available for Hepatitis A, B and E.”
According to him, the national prevalence rate of hepatitis B is 11 per cent, in Nasarawa State it is 13 to 20 per cent, while hepatitis C is 2.2 per cent for national and eight to 13.5 per cent in Nasarawa State and this is hospital based report.
He also urged people to ensure regular medical check up to know their health status, adding that hepatitis is a silent killer disease.
He said: “Majority of infections are asymptomatic as 85 per cent of those living with these diseases do not know they are infected, hence the need for people to always know their health status.
“The key messages is for people to get tested, know their status and proceed to health facilities for further counseling and treatment.”
The commissioner also disclosed that a road walk would be held on July 28, comprising of 100 people from the state Ministry of Health to Bukan Ari Community Primary School, Lafia, where activities like free screening will take place.
He said flyers, posters and key hepatitis messages would also be shared during the road walk.
He restated the continued commitment of the state government to key into good policies and programmes that have direct bearing on the health status and standard of living of the people.