World Health Organisation, W.H.O
World Health Organisation, W.H.O

The World Health Organisation, WHO, Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti has urged pharmaceutical companies and partners to reduce the cost of Hepatitis-B and C diagnosis and medicines to help sufferers.

She made the call at a news conference in Abuja to commemorate World Hepatitis Day, observed annually on July 28 to raise global awareness on the viral disease with the theme “Find the Missing Millions”.

Represented by the Officer-in-Charge WHO Nigeria, Clement Peter, Moeti said Hepatitis is a silent killer because most people do not know the symptoms and often do not get diagnosed until late stages of the disease. She said there are five common types of Hepatitis, namely Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E.

According to Moeti, more than ninety five per cent of Hepatitis-related deaths are caused by chronic Hepatitis-B and C infections, while Hepatitis A and E rarely cause life-threatening illness.

Hepatitis is a viral infection that attacks the liver and can cause both acute and chronic diseases, commonly transmitted from mother to child during birth, as well as through contact with blood or other body fluids.