Hepatitis Kills More Than Malaria, HIV/AIDS – Experts


Medical researchers have unveiled reasons why Hepatitis kills more people than Malaria, Tuberculosis (TB) and Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

Nigerian doctors, under the aegis of Society for Gastroenterology and Haematology in Nigeria (SOGHIN) and scientists at Imperial College London, United Kingdom (UK) and the University of Washington, United States (US) found that viral Hepatitis has become one of the leading causes of death and disability across the world.

According to the medical experts, symptoms include fatigue, jaundice and nausea. In many people, however, the infection is symptom-less. As a result, individuals may not know they are infected until they develop serious complications.

The experts revealed that of the 400 million people diagnosed with the disease in a year, globally, about 23 million are Nigerians, and about 5 million die from the infection.

President of SOGHIN, Prof. Musa Borodo, stressed the urgent need to sensitise the public on the importance of checking for Hepatitis.

He also appealed to the government to provide adequate gadgets for diagnosis and make drugs available at cheaper rate, so that infected people could get treated. “If you get treated well, you will not get to the situation where you will die,” he said.

“The disease, which is said to kill 10 times more than HIV/AIDS, raises a lot of eyebrows, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared an emergency,” he explained.

“Studies done in Nigeria indicate an average prevalence of 11 per cent to 14 per cent for Hepatitis B infection, suggesting that about 17 to 22 million Nigerians may be affected by the Hepatitis B virus alone.

The implication is that, at least, one of every 10 Nigerian is chronically infected with Hepatitis B and not only at risk of liver disease and death, but also at risk of transmitting it to others. About 5 million die yearly due to the consequences of this disease,” he said.

“Hepatitis is a disease of the liver resulting in injury to the liver. It is caused by many factors including germs, notably viruses, alcohol, and drugs. Hepatitis may start and get better quickly or it may become a long lasting condition. In some cases, chronic Hepatitis may lead to liver damage, liver failure, or even liver cancer,” he added.


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