Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
The Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Initiative and Development Mr Danjuma Adda, on Sunday disclosed that over 300,000 persons were living with the dreaded hepatitis B virus in Taraba state.
Adda disclosed this at an event to Mark 2019 World Hepatitis Day with the theme “finding the missing millions” at the Taraba University Sports Complex, Jalingo.
According to him, Taraba had 15 per cent prevalent rate for hepatitis B and 10 per cent rate for hepatitis C while the National Average on hepatitis B is 11 per cent and that of hepatitis C is 2.5 per cent.
“Taraba is one of the states with the highest burden of viral hepatitis in Nigeria with a population of about 300,000 living with the disease.
“While we commend Taraba as the first state government in Nigeria to initiate a hepatitis prevention and treatment program, we must add that the program addresses only patients with chronic hepatitis B. Taraba hepatitis project is not currently providing treatment for hepatitis C patients, which sadly, though curable, is not covered under the program,” he said.
Adda, who is also the National Coordinator Civil Society Network on Viral Hepatitis in Nigeria as well as Patients Advisory Council Member, Hepatitis Foundation International, US said 4, 000 persons die of hepatitis daily across the globe.
According to him, hepatitis kills more than 1.34 million people each year,more than HIV/AIDS and malaria.
Adda said the CFID, which organised the day in collaboration with Taraba Ministry of Health, the National Youth Service Corps in Taraba and the Student Union Government (SUG) of the Taraba State University, Jalingo was committed to eliminating the disease.
In his remarks, Dr Elkana Sambo lauded the CFID for involving Taraba State University in the roadmap for the elimination of viral hepatitis in the country.
Mr Ande Boyi, the SUG president told the gathering that a lots of students had recently died of hepatitis in the institution and appealed to the government to double its efforts at tackling the menace for a healthier society.
Our correspondent reports that free hepatitis screening and testing as well as treatment of 30 persons with hepatitis C was done at the event.