A public health specialist with the National AIDS/STIS Control Programme, Federal Ministry of Health, Celement Adesigbin says the major challenges of viral hepatitis remain awareness creation and access to care and treatment.
Adesigbin, who is also the National Desk Officer, National AIDS/STIS Control Programme said there was lack of awareness about prevalence of chronic viral hepatitis in Nigeria in addition to lack of proper methods and target population for screening and medical management of chronic hepatitis B and C. He said this probably contributed to the continued transmission of the disease.
He noted that there was also relatively poor awareness about the infections among health-care providers, social-service providers, and the general public.
Adesigbin said there was availability of a preventive vaccine and active antiviral treatments that stopped the disease progression and reduced the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma.
He explained that the ministry and World Health Organisation, WHO were leading other stakeholders to create more awareness on viral hepatitis and give nationwide visibility to eliminate the deadly disease in Nigeria.