As Nigeria joined other countries to mark the World Hepatitis Day, the provost of the University of Uyo (UNIUYO) College of Health Sciences, Professor Etete Peters, has appealed to Nigerians to go for medical screening to know their hepatitis status and protect themselves from liver diseases.
Peters told LEADERSHIP in Uyo that hepatitis is a silent killer, which kills faster than HIV/AIDS and asserted that it is better for the people to know their status.
He said because of the dangerous nature of hepatitis, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised all countries to scale up access to Direct-Acting Antivirals, DAAs, a new drug for the treatment.
The provost said, “Over 380 million people are living with chronic Hepatitis infections (HBV or HCV) worldwide and 1.84 million people died of the virus globally.”
He said there are five main types of Hepatitis virus referred to as Types A, B, C, D, and E but B and C are on the rise globally and are getting to a burden status requiring quick intervention.
Peters, a former chief medical director of the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH) and the immediate past president of Nigeria Thoracic Society said the diseases are also becoming difficult to treat, hence the urgent need for people to know their hepatitis status.
“This has made it important to tackle Hepatitis with seriousness. But the good thing is that it can be treated and can be prevented.
“This has made it important to tackle Hepatitis with seriousness. But the good thing is that it can be treated and can be prevented,” he said.
The World Hepatitis Day is marked every July 28 to educate people on Hepatitis and encourage them to go for screening so as to prevent the spread of the disease and get those positive to seek medication.