Nigeria to improve healthcare by manufacturing vaccine to cure hepatitis.
Hepatitis, a major global public health issue and is an inflammatory condition of the liver. In Nigeria, the endemic disease that has eaten deep into the health fabric, where the recent Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) a Hepatitis B prevalence at 8.1 percent and Hepatitis C at 1.1 percent of Nigeria’s population. This estimates Nigeria’s populace living with Hepatitis at the number of 19 million. The high rate of the prevalence suggests how deeply the virus is spread across the country.
While Nigeria boasts of approximately 51 percent coverage rate of birth-dose hepatitis vaccination, the vaccination program excludes the population that contact this virus on a specific basis. Thus, the need to further improve the healthcare sector towards finding means to curb this endemic. Dr. Osagie Ehanire, the Minister for Health has ascertained that Nigeria is to commence the manufacturing of hepatitis vaccines, in a bid to put an end to the hepatitis endemic.
Hepatitis is a threat to public health causing infections and morbidity.
At the flag off of World Hepatitis Day, titled “Bring Hepatitis Care Closer to You”, which is aimed at raising awareness on the virus and encouraging the government and stakeholders to ensure the absolute eradication of this virus, the Minister noted the hepatitis virus to be a threat to public health, especially B and C that are known to cause chronic infections with intense morbidity. He also averred that an estimation of 20 million Nigerians are posed to be infected with hepatitis B or C, as a result of their little perception of the infection.
The imminent danger about this unawareness is that it could develop into liver diseases and cancer, whilst also infecting other people. Osagie compared the spread of the virus to that of HIV, which is also spread by unsafe injection practice and unprotected sexual behaviors. Also, unsafe transfusion of blood, sharing of sharp objects and mother-to-child transmission are also means that fuel the transmission of this disease. According to the World Health Organization, 11 percent of Nigerian patients with Hepatitis B also have Hepatitis D, with the continued spread due to the unavailability of vaccines to curb this virus.
Nigeria’s private sector is ready to produce vaccines.
Though, Hepatitis has no cure, it can be imminently avoided with vaccination and while the World Health Organization aims to reduce this infection by 90 percent in 2030, Dr. Osagie has stated that Nigeria , in collaboration with private sector companies are prepared do to their part by also producing vaccines to prevent this virus. He noted that the country has put plans in place to commence the manufacturing of routine hepatitis vaccine called the Traditional Vaccine.
The minister further averred that the production process is to commence over the next month, which will mark the country as one of the countries to have achieved this feat in a really short span. This idea is targeted at the prevention of mother to child intervention, blood transfusion and injection transmission, as well as diagnosis and treatment. However, he asserted that there was a need to build public awareness by improving the capability of healthcare workers and community engagement, as well as enhancing the public’s access to diagnosis of the virus.
Kadazi acknowledged high cost of treatment as impediment.
The country’s World Health Organization representative, Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulombo acknowledged the high prevalence of the virus in Nigeria, owing this impediment to the high cost of treatment which have restricted the access to diagnosis and treatment. He however stated that the government, through the introduction of Hepatitis B birth dose and the vaccination at childbirth, have shown commitment towards evenly eradicating this virus. He further promised his commitment to partnering the country to ensure the availability of diagnosis and treatment services to communities where these services are needed.
The content on AskNigeria.com is given for general information only and does not constitute a professional opinion, and users should seek their own legal/professional advice. There is data available online that lists details, facts and further information not listed in this post, please complete your own investigation into these matters and reach your own conclusion. AskNigeria.com accepts no responsibility for losses from any person acting or refraining from acting as a result of content contained in this website and/or other websites which may be linked to this website. The provided content is given for general information only and does not constitute a professional opinion, and users should seek their own legal/professional advice. AskNigeria.com accepts no responsibility for losses from any person acting or refraining from acting as a result of content contained in this website and/or other websites which may be linked to this website.
Fact Checking Tool – Snopes.com