In Nasarawa State, the battle against Hepatitis has escalated as more than 23,000 people have tested positive for viral Hepatitis B and C. This concerning figure was revealed by Dr. Janet Angbazo, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, during a press briefing to commemorate the 2023 World Hepatitis Day under the theme ‘We are not waiting, one life, and one liver’.
Out of 229,682 screened individuals, 23,224 residents were diagnosed with the disease, and many are currently receiving treatment in government hospitals across the 13 Local Government Areas of the state. Recognizing the severity of the situation, the Nasarawa State government has pledged to implement a five-year Hepatitis B and C elimination plan, aiming to treat approximately 124,000 individuals within this period.
To address the high burden of Hepatitis in the state, the Ministry of Health, with support from the Clinton Health Access Initiative, established the State’s Viral Hepatitis Control Program, creating an enabling policy environment for improved access to HBV/HCV diagnostic and treatment services. Encouraging progress has already been made, with 97 healthcare workers trained across 17 facilities and micro elimination achieved in three facilities in Awe, Keana, and Doma LGAs.
In response to the outbreak, Dr. Janet Angbazo appeals to the general public to undergo testing for HBV and HCV at government hospitals in the 13 LGAs. Additionally, she urges everyone to avoid the use of unsterilized sharp objects, sharing of needles/syringes, and the transfusion of unscreened blood to prevent further spread of the disease. Spreading awareness about Hepatitis and promoting preventive measures is essential in this critical fight against the outbreak.