Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, called on stakeholders in the health sector to create more awareness on dangers posed by viral hepatitis.
He made the call at a press briefing to mark World Hepatitis Day, in Abuja (FCT), said the disease had become a silent killer because much importance had been attached to dangers it posed to health.
The Minister said the theme for the year’s celebration is “Eliminate Hepatitis”, adding that the campaign against the disease was aimed at adding momentum to all efforts to implement the National Strategic Plan for the control of the disease.
Adewole stated hepatitis condition could be self-limiting or progress to fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis or liver cancer and listed the five main types of hepatitis viruses as, hepatitis A, B, C, D and E.
He also said that types B and C hepatitis led to chronic disease in hundreds of millions of people and, together, are the most common cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer.
” But, what is particularly important is that the liver is engine room of the body.
” When the engine room of the factory is faulty, the entire system will not able to work, and hepatitis affects the liver.
” Two are particularly dangerous, that is hepatitis B and C. They not only cause problem for the liver, they lead to chronic liver problem where people develop abdominal swelling.
” In some, it results in liver cancer. This is why it is important for us to tackle hepatitis with seriousness.
” But, the good thing about hepatitis is that it is also preventable, that is why we need to create awareness among our people, we need to let them know, ” he said.
The Minister said that many people contracted the disease through faecal-oral transmission, particularly A and E, ” Which we have in some parts Borno State.
” It is transmitted through contaminated water, so, we can stay away from contacting the disease by disposing faeces from the body carefully, by drinking clean and safe water, and by avoiding contact with contaminated blood, body fluid.