Sunday, July 28, 2019 12:36 pm
In a statement issued in commemoration of the 2019 World Hepatitis Day, Sepat Chief executive,Mr Ozo Oramah, said that the company would conduct over 15000 rapid tests nationwide during the exercise.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that World Hepatitis Day is observed on July 28 every year to raise global awareness on the liver disease and encourage prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
Oramah said that the company would also partner with the Federal Ministry of Health in monitoring, through its diagnostic partner company, to reduce and save cost in the elimination of Hepatitis disease in the country.
According to him, Sephat will be supporting Nigeria in the much-needed engendering of awareness, targeting students in higher institutions, market women, artisans and the aged.
“The International Club of Hepatitis C will be extended through the universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and other tertiary institutions in Nigeria spreading awareness brochures and through on- ground and social media campaigns.
“The vision of our partners, Pharco Pharmaceutical of Egypt, through the initiative and passionate drives of – Africa Free of Hepatitis C 2025 Initiative is to eliminate hepatitis C in Africa by 2025.
“With the laudable programmes and the commitment of the present government in Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Health, we are convinced that with the right synergies and partnership
“The 2022 date set to eradicate the disease by Buhari’s administration is feasible. Pharco Corporation and SEPAT are committed to it and will do all within our means towards attaining the goal,” Oramah added.
Hepatitis C is an infection caused by a virus that attacks the liver and leads to inflammation.
The virus is spread with contaminated blood, like from sharing needles or from unsterilise tattoo equipment.
Over 100,000 cases are reported yearly in Nigeria, but majority of the cases are not reported because over 90 per cent of sufferers are not aware of their infection status until it becomes severe.
Africa has the highest estimated regional HCV prevalence 5.3 per cent Genotypes commonly found in Africa are 1, 4, and 5. Genotype 3 is found in parts of Central Africa.
On the African continent, hepatitis has remained a major killer of people with a vast majority of patients unaware of their infection status until it becomes chronic or fatal.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says millions of people die yearly as a result of the disease in Africa.
According to WHO 2017 Report, Africa has the highest estimated regional HCV prevalence of 5.3 per cent with Nigeria having a high prevalence of HCV; especially in the Northern part 2.2 per cent.
Worried by this frightening situation, the Federal Ministry of Health commenced a sensitisation program to expand awareness among the general population and ensuring that half of hepatitis C patients were aware of their infection status by 2020.
In addition, the ministry wanted 50 per cent of the patients to receive treatment by 2020; 90 per cent cured by 2020 and Nigeria, totally free of hepatitis C by 2022.