Hepatitis should be treated as pandemic

Considering the ravaging, easy way of transmission and deadly nature of hepatitis, I think its pertinent to write a piece as a sensitizer to the general public, especially the way people are so relaxed and ignorant of the disease. It is important to note that hepatitis claim many lives annually in Nigeria. and there are about 19 million carriers.

Hepatitis is a viral disease that causes liver inflammation. The chief cause of liver cancer. The different forms of the virus includes: A, B, C, D and E with B and C, which remain the deadliest. According to WHO, its mode of transmissions are; but not limited to, mother to child transmission, exposure to infected blood, through body fluid such as saliva, sweat, menstrual and through sex. Considering how delicate the mode of transmission of the disease is and how frequent we come in contact with one of the mode above, and the fact that in Nigeria so many people are ignorant of the way the disease is transmitted necessitate the holistic campaign against the virus.

Let us remind ourselves that, so far out of 16,687,774 covid-19 cases out of which over 10 million recovered and less than 700,000 death globally as of 28/07/2020. This figure is much, but the fact is that hepatitis claim more lives than this. According to World Health Organization (WHO), there are about 300 million people living with chronic hepatitis B virus globally and it claim about 887,000 lives every year. Meanwhile hepatitis virus cases outnumbered that of covid-19 globally, most importantly covid-19 is recoverable, but hepatitis can only be manage (particularly B and C type). that figure called for concern that government should treat hepatitis with a mighty level of seriousness and declare it a pandemic just as     covid-19.

Although there is a move and sensitization by hepatitis B foundation to eliminate the virus by 2030. In a campaign tagged as: ‘The journey to Hepatitis B elimination in Nigeria’ but people are not cooperating. This can have devastating effect in Nigeria, look at how people relate without following a guideline put in place by a health expert. For example, people still eat food sharing same spoon, share same shirt even though its wet with the sweat of other person (especially in football field), and many more.

To contain the virus government at all level must act proactively and declare it a pandemic and provide a vaccine accessible to every hospital and bring out the guidelines and make sure there is total compliance. From the public part we should remain on how we relate socially and make sure we observe all protocols and safety measures.

Abdullahi Muhammed

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twitter: @Abdulla59122171

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