Nigeria on Thursday launched the National Policy for the Control of Viral Hepatitis to cover all activities for the prevention and management of viral hepatitis.

The policy will enhance the interventions for the control of the disease in Nigeria, Linus Awute, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, said in Abuja, the nation’s capital city.

The West African country launched the policy as part of the activities to commemorate the 2015 World Hepatitis Day.

The policy will be a topical issue to be discussed at the National Council of Health, so that states participation and involvement in the operationalization of the policy is endorsed, the health official added.

Speaking at the launch, Rui Vaz, Country Director, World Health Organization (WHO), said Hepatitis B and C had affected hundred millions of people, causing the death of 1.5 million people worldwide every year.

The last survey conducted by WHO shows that prevalence rate in Hepatitis B and C in Nigeria is as high as two per cent of the population, he said, adding that West Africa region has the highest number of the disease.
“We commend the Nigeria government for taking hepatitis control,” he added.

According to him, Nigeria was one of the first countries that introduced an effective drug for hepatitis B vaccination.

The country director expressed concern for the need to scale up other prevention strategies for Hepatitis B and C control.

He said the centre will do its best to eradicate hepatitis adding that it will also invite other partners to collectively fight and eliminate the disease in the country. Enditem


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