A medical expert, Dr Bamidele Folorunsho, has put the prevalence of Hepatitis B in Nasarawa State at 14 per cent. Folorunsho, a gastroenterologist at the Department of Medicine, DASH, described Hepatitis B as 100 times more infectious and kills faster than HIV and 10 times more infectious than Hepatitis C. Speaking at an event to mark World Hepatitis Day at the Federal University, Lafia, Folorunsho, said, “Hepatitis is defined simply as inflammation of the liver, namely, hepatitis – A, B, C, D and E.
“The prevalence of Hepatitis B in Nigeria is 13 per cent while Hepatitis C is 2.2 per cent. The prevalence of Hepatitis B in Nasarawa State is about 14 per cent. The prevalence of viral hepatitis in Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital is 12 per cent from the blood bank register only. The burden of viral hepatitis in Nigeria is a reflection of the global prevalence.”
He, however, maintained that in the sub-Saharan Africa, Hepatitis B and C were rare because they are blood borne and are the most common causes of liver disease which could be caused by viruses, fungi, bacteria, chemical and some metabolic problems.
Folorunsho explained that people were unable to make decisions about treating this infection and preventing its spread in Nigeria, it is endemic to the extent that 50 million people are infected with Hepatitis B.
According to him, hepatitis is pandemic with close to 400 million carriers of the B and C types all over the world, adding that out of this figure, close to 300 million people are unaware of their infection which makes it scary. People go about their daily lives without knowing.
The medical expert added that symptoms like passage of black stool, vomiting of blood, abdominal swelling may be signs of liver damage/disease which may lead to unconsciousness and later leading to death.