Nigeria: 40 Million Have Hepatitis Virus and May Not Know, Inaugurates Technical Committee Hepatitis
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"Global figures indicate hepatitis is a more serious disease than HIV: some 400 million infection of hepatitis occur every year compared with 34 million for HIV, but while nearly $2,774 is spent on each person living with HIV, only $20 is spent per viral hepatitis patient......The federal government has inaugurated a 24-man Technical Working Committee, consisting of Federal Ministry of Health departments, government agencies, private sector, development partners, non governmental organisations (NGOs) and the academia to come up with a patriotic, articulated and cost effective framework for viral hepatitis control for Nigeria."
Epidemiology of chronic hepatitis C virus infection in sub-Saharan Africa
"Our sub-Saharan Africa weighted average prevalence of 3% is lower than the WHO figure of 5·3% for Africa.....The WHO estimates that 3% (170 million) of the world's population are chronically infected with HCV. Sub-Saharan Africa is of great interest because it is reported to have the highest HCV prevalence rate (5·3%), and a concurrent HIV epidemic. In our review of the published literature we found consistent evidence of high HCV prevalence in many countries of Africa. We estimate the overall prevalence of HCV in Sub-Saharan Africa is 3·0%. The central African region has the highest estimated prevalence of 6%, west Africa has an estimated prevalence of 2·4%, and southern and east Africa with the lowest estimated prevalence of 1·6%. Given low sexual transmission of HCV and infrequency of intravenous drug use in Sub-Saharan Africa, iatrogenic causes of HCV transmission need to be further evaluated."
Global epidemiology of hepatitis C virus infection: New estimates of age-specific antibody to HCV seroprevalence - "requires a global response"
Hepatology April 2013
Global HCV 150 Million: reused syringes, IDU, sexual transmission, HIV coinfection, China/India/Pakistan, Africa
Hepatitis C, A smouldering public-health crisis, 'Silent Epidemic' in U.S. Needs More Funding, Researcher Says. HCV is a disease of the marginalized: IDUs 50-90%; homeless 35%; prisoners 29%; severely mentally ill people 19%; hospital patients 17%; African-American men 50-59: 14%; US population: 2%. Nature 2011
Nigeria: 40 Million Have Hepatitis Virus and May Not Know
By Judd-Leonard Okafor, 23 December 2013
At least 40 million Nigerians could have traces of the hepatitis virus--which causes inflammation in the liver, according to the Society for Gastroenterology and Hepatology in Nigeria.
The survey by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control--with support from pharmaceutical research firm Roche--took blood samples from 150 people in communities in two local government areas each in six states.
The survey found people who had undergone local circumcision were 43% more likely to contract hepatitis B--mostly from using unsafe implements.
It also found people were 17% more likely to contract the virus while getting tribal markings, 15% during blood transfusion, 13% during non sterile surgical procedures and 11% during body piercing.
For hepatitis C, the commonest risk factor was 52% in local circumcision, 21% in body piercing and 19% in unsterile blood transfusion.
But experts note a worrisome increasing incidence, especially among populations of tertiary education on account of increasing social vices, since a common transmission route for the virus is sexual contact and body fluid exchange.
This comes as guidelines for preventing, treating and managing the condition are still shaky.
"Unfortunately not much attention has been given to hepatitis control globally and especially in Nigeria even when the burden of hepatitis is rapidly increasing," said health minister Onyebuchi Chukwu.
He spoke through health permanent secretary Sani Bala at the inauguration on Monday of a working group to help develop national guidelines for hepatitis.
The working group has projected that an action plan could cost up to N561 million to procure products and deliver anti-hepatitis services between next year and 2015.
Newly-introduced pentavalent (five-in-one) vaccines offer protection against hepatitis A and B--but none against hepatitis C, which is responsible for the largest cases of liver cancer resulting from hepatitis.
"When we came in, it was alarming--the number of [people] we saw who have developed chronic hepatitis B and C," said an official of Roche, which funded the survey.
"Many are walking around with it. They feel completely fine until the last minute."
Global figures indicate hepatitis is a more serious disease than HIV: some 400 million infection of hepatitis occur every year compared with 34 million for HIV, but while nearly $2,774 is spent on each person living with HIV, only $20 is spent per viral hepatitis patient.
FG Inaugurates Technical Committee Hepatitis
By: Winifred Ogbebo on December 23, 2013
The federal government has inaugurated a 24-man Technical Working Committee, consisting of Federal Ministry of Health departments, government agencies, private sector, development partners, non governmental organisations (NGOs) and the academia to come up with a patriotic, articulated and cost effective framework for viral hepatitis control for Nigeria.
Inaugurating the group on Monday in Abuja, the Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu, who spoke on the theme, "Action Against Rising Incidence of Viral Hepatitis in Nigeria," lamented that much attention had. not been given to hepatitis control globally, especially in Nigeria even when the burden of hepatitis was rapidly increasing and the progress could be effectively prevented.
Chukwu, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Health, Ambassador Sani Bala, said, "In view of the impact of hepatitis on health caused partly by commonly practised human activities, it is important to act now so that together we can contribute to protecting our citizens from morbidity and mortality from hepatitis."
He said much of the health risks were avoidable through adequate awareness creation, behavioural change education and ensuring effective screening of all blood for transfusion.
According to the minister, Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E are responsible for chronic infection of the liver while more than two billion people are infected with Hepatitis B virus worldwide with about 280 million chronic carriers, having the virus in their liver.
In her remarks, the chairman of the technical working committee and director, Public Health in the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Bridget Okoeguale, said the increasing trend of hepatitis was worrisome as it was being experienced in colleges and tertiary institutions.
She noted that lack of awareness of the virus was responsible for devastating health damage among the citizenry.