Danjuma Adda, CEO, Centre for Initiative and Development, on Sunday said over 300,000 persons were living with hepatitis B virus in Taraba State.
Adda disclosed this at an event to mark 2019 World Hepatitis Day with the theme ‘finding the missing millions’ at the Taraba University Sports Complex, Jalingo.
According to Adda, Taraba had 15 percent prevalent rate for hepatitis B and 10 percent rate for hepatitis C, while the National Average on hepatitis B is 11 percent and that of hepatitis C is 2.5 percent.
“Taraba is one of the states with the highest burden of viral hepatitis in Nigeria with a population of about 300,000 living with the disease.
“While recommend the Taraba as the first state government in Nigeria to initiate a hepatitis prevention and treatment program, we must add that the program addresses only patients with chronic hepatitis B.
“Taraba hepatitis project is not currently providing treatment for hepatitis C patients, which sadly though curable, but no access to treatment under the program,” he said.
Adda, who is also the National Coordinator Civil Society Network on Viral Hepatitis in Nigeria as well as Patients Advisory Council Member, Hepatitis Foundation International, US said 4, 000 persons die of hepatitis daily across the globe.
According to him, hepatitis kills more than 1.34 million people each year, more than HIV/AIDS and malaria.
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He said the CFID, which organised the day in collaboration with Taraba Ministry of Health, the National Youth Service Corps in Taraba and the Student Union Government (SUG) of the Taraba State University, Jalingo, was committed to eliminating the disease.
In his remarks, Elkana Sambo lauded the CFID for involving Taraba University in the roadmap for the elimination of viral hepatitis in the country.
Ande Boyi, the SUG president, told the gathering that a lot of students had recently died of hepatitis in the institution, and appealed to the government to redouble its efforts at tackling the menace for a healthy society.
BusinessDay reports that free hepatitis screening and testing as well as treatment of 30 persons with hepatitis C was done at the event.