Why Nigeria must find everyone who has hepatitis and doesn’t know it


hepatitis
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

World Hepatitis Day—28 July—is an opportunity to raise awareness of hepatitis and encourage commitments of governments, policy makers and the public towards eradication of this dangerous disease.

The World Health Organization has chosen “ free future” as its theme this year and is focusing on prevention of hepatitis B among mothers and newborns. The World Hepatitis Alliance has chosen the theme “find the missing millions” – the millions of people who have hepatitis B but are not aware of it.

In Nigeria alone, there could be about 15 million people who are unaware that they are infected. The danger of this is that some of them could go on to develop , including cancer. They could also continue to infect others around them, especially family members and sexual partners. This is why it is important to screen family members and sexual contacts of anyone diagnosed with hepatitis B virus infection.

Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver and viral causes are the most common.

There are five types of hepatitis virus, named A, B, C, D and E. Hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV) are the most common cause of long-term liver damage, accounting for about 90% of deaths from viral hepatitis. Hepatitis D virus is not a complete virus and can only affect those who already had hepatitis B.

Hepatitis A & E viruses are transmitted by feco-oral routes. Feco-oral routes means pathogens in fecal particles pass from one person to the mouth of another person. This is usually as a result of poor hygiene and lack of adequate sanitation.

Hepatitis B, C, and D are transmitted through , child to child transmission, transfusion of unscreened blood, use of unsterilised equipment for surgical procedures, indiscriminate use of sharp objects such as local circumcision, tribal marking, ear piercing, tattoos, reuse of needles and syringes and unprotected sexual intercourse. Vertical transmission refers to passage of a pathogen from mother to baby immediately before and after birth. It might occur through direct contact during or after birth.

Prevalence

HBV and HCV are international public health problems, chronically infecting 292 million and 71 million people respectively worldwide. The two viruses cause about 1 million deaths annually. But the burden of hepatitis is not evenly spread. The sub-Saharan African and Western Pacific regions account for about 68% of all chronic hepatitis B infections. The reason for this discrepancy is the delay in the availability of vaccines and frequency of risky behaviors in these regions.

A recent study in Nigeria found the prevalence of hepatitis B and C in the country to be 8.1% and 1.1% of the population respectively. This means that about 19 million Nigerians have hepatitis B or C. We found in our research that about 11% of Nigerian patients with hepatitis B also had hepatitis D. The co-existence of hepatitis B and D is a greater threat to liver health than hepatitis B virus alone.

Unfortunately, most patients with hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections are asymptomatic and can remain so until the liver is significantly damaged. The World Health Organization has estimated that only about 10% and 19% of patients with chronic HBV and HCV are aware of their infections. Hepatitis B and C viruses could lead to liver cancer if not properly treated. The median survival of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) in sub-Saharan Africa is less than three months.

The Society of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in Nigeria advocates in its HBV guideline that all unimmunised adults in Nigeria should be screened for hepatitis B infection, especially when they visit a hospital for whatever reason. This is to ensure that the millions of people with asymptomatic infection are diagnosed and treated, if need be.

It’s not known whether all healthcare workers are following this advice.

Prevention and treatment

The World Health Organization aims to reduce new HBV infections by 90% and deaths by 65% by 2030. The United Nations also placed combating hepatitis as the third target of goal 3 of its sustainable development goals.

Though HBV has no cure, it is preventable through vaccination and avoidance of risky behaviors that promote its transmission. There is no effective vaccine that can prevent hepatitis C but it is curable with the available medications.

Prevention of mother to is the most important intervention to reduce the incidence of chronic hepatitis B. This is because, unlike adults who acquire the infection, 90%-95% of children who acquire the infection from their mothers will have persistent infection until adulthood. All pregnant mothers should be screened for HBV but screening and treatment are unaffordable for many of these women.

HBV vaccination has been incorporated into the routine immunization program for children in Nigeria since the late 1990s and it is free. Two things that stand in the way of prevention efforts in Nigeria are the cost of the investigations of HBV and HCV, which are not covered by the national health insurance scheme, and the knowledge of health workers.

In another study we conducted, only 44% of health workers were aware of the mother to child route of transmission of HBV.

Though hepatitis B has no cure, there are effective medications that reduce the possibility of liver damage and cancer. Because they are imported to Nigeria, though, these medications are not necessarily affordable or available. This reduces the compliance of patients on this drug.

As we mark the 2020 World Hepatitis Day, government and nongovernmental organizations should create greater awareness of screening. Those found positive should then be linked with treatment centers. There should be continuous education of all health workers on hepatitis routes of transmission and treatment.

In addition to measures which are free according to national policy, screening for HBV and HCV should be free. Large procurement of treatment drugs or encouragement of their local production should also be encouraged so that they are affordable and available. This will help to ensure a hepatitis free Nigeria.


What people living with hepatitis C need to know about COVID-19


Provided by
The Conversation


This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.The Conversation

Citation:
Why Nigeria must find everyone who has hepatitis and doesn’t know it (2020, July 28)
retrieved 28 July 2020
from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-07-nigeria-hepatitis-doesnt.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.



Related posts:

Colombian ex-president Uribe detained for alleged witness tampering, he says
F.D.A. Adds More Hand Sanitizers to List of Products to Avoid
Beirut blasts damage UN peacekeeping ship, president calls state of emergency
Many COVID-19 patients given useless antibiotics, study finds
Offers of assistance pour in for Lebanon after deadly Beirut explosions
Forget Spas and Bars. Hotels Tout Housekeeping to Lure Back Travelers.
Defending champ Nadal to skip US Open over coronavirus concerns
Mysterious paralyzing illness in kids is set to return, CDC warns
Novavax's New Covid-19 Vaccine Studies Praised By Scientists
HIIT programs show benefits for those with Down syndrome
Nach den Sommerferien: Zurück in Schule und Kindergarten!
Live Coronavirus Tracker - The New York Times
Once popular former king goes into exile amid scandal
Parasite resistance to antimalarial artemisinin derivatives now affecting Africa
Geriatrische Patienten nach Cochlea-Implantation - Biermann Medizin
France's Charles-de-Gaulle airport enforces Covid-19 testing on arrival
Identification of a new mechanism in the immune system provides knowledge about diseases
Wie sich psychologischer Stress auf Immunzellen auswirkt
Are we 'Waiting for Godot?' A metaphor for COVID-19
Unterschiede in den klinischen Merkmalen nicht adipöser Patienten mit NAFLD
Massive explosion rocks Lebanese capital Beirut
Dear Dr... how our email style reveals much about our personalities
Für Kinder steigt in den Ferien das Unfallrisiko
Researcher seeks safer, more effective leukemia treatment
Schlüsselgen für die Bildung von Herzklappen entdeckt
Macron announces coronavirus bonus for France's homecare workers
Red Onions Linked to Salmonella Outbreak, Officials Say
How we found coronavirus in a cat
MAFLD: Körperliche Fitness ist bedeutsamer als reiner Gewichtsverlust
Coronavirus Live Updates: Fight Over Aid Package Drags On
Insufficient evidence of reduced COVID-19 incidence at high altitudes
Macht eine „Immunthrombose“ das Coronavirus so gefährlich?
Niger marks 60 years of independence from France
Cameroonian migrant killed in Morocco after police find forest encampment
Norway cruise ship passengers with coronavirus reach 43
Studie: Candida-Cluster verursachen in unterschiedlichen Krankenhäusern schwere Infektionen
France facing ‘highly likely’ second wave of Covid-19 in autumn or winter
The reluctant candidate taking on Europe’s ‘last dictator’
France risks losing control of coronavirus: science council
Erstes Medikament gegen Hepatitis D von der Europäischen Kommission zugelassen
Trump’s ‘inexperienced and unqualified’ ambassadors leave US allies aghast
Blood test could diagnose baby brain damage just hours after birth
„Sicherer als ein Flug nach Mallorca“: Vorbereitungen für RESTART-19-Experiment laufen
African American BMi associated with severe COVID-19 and ICU admission
Glücklose „Glückspille“: Fluoxetin bessert funktionelle Fähigkeiten nach Schlaganfall nicht
Latin American virus cases top 5 million
Stranded men rescued from Pacific island after writing SOS in sand
Immunization programs yield high 'return on investment,' saving hundreds of billions of dollars
Millions back under lockdown in Philippines amid surge in virus cases
This 'actions-speak-louder-than-words' student puts public policy studies to work
Norway restricts cruise ship arrivals after Covid-19 outbreak on vessel
Penis microbiota predicts if a man's female partner will develop bacterial vaginosis
Fortschritte beim Bluttest auf Alzheimer
Tackling the bioethics challenges raised by COVID-19
Trial of Algerian journalist and press freedom icon Khaled Drareni starts in Algiers
New York attorney probing Trump and his business over 'criminal conduct'
How COVID-19 changed the way patients responded to a heart attack
Isaias strengthens back to a hurricane forecast to hit Carolinas and East Coast
Dementia on the Retreat in the U.S. and Europe
WHO advance team ends visit to China to probe COVID origin
Doubt cast on wisdom of targeting 'bad' cholesterol to curb heart disease risk
Asthma drug (beta2-agonists) can boost sprint and strength performance in athletes
Israeli jets strike targets in Syria after attempted attack in Golan Heights
Trump says he will only allow TikTok sale if US government gets a cut
2.5% of Italians had COVID-19, far more in the north
Half of low-income communities have no ICU beds
Greater financial integration generally not associated with better healthcare quality
Neue effektive Behandlungsform bei akuter Leukämie
An averted glance gives a glimpse of the mind behind the eyes
Gewissheit in nur 15 Minuten mit graphen-oxidbasiertem Schnelltest zur Infektionserkennung
Child sleep problems associated with impaired academic and psychosocial functioning
COVID-19 oder nicht? Röntgen-Software kann bei der Diagnose unterstützen
Former king Juan Carlos to leave Spain amid probe over financial scandal
Covid-19 Testing Is in Short Supply. Should You Still Get a Test?
Racial discrimination linked to suicide
Neue dermato-onkologische Strategien werden beim ersten digitalen Deutschen Hautkrebskongress vorges...
France halts ratifying extradition treaty with Hong Kong in wake of security law
Scientists Worry About Political Influence Over Coronavirus Vaccine Project
Four-stranded DNA structures found to play role in breast cancer
Schulbeginn: Deutsche Dermatologische Gesellschaft (DDG) empfiehlt Hände desinfizieren statt zu viel...
How the city is adapting to keep visitors safe
Is Telemedicine Here to Stay?
The effects of COVID-19 on emergency visits, hospitalizations
FMT: Präzisere Therapie durch genaueren Blick ins Mikrobiom
Drugmaker Sanofi charged with manslaughter over birth defects
Share Your Medical Bills for Coronavirus
Outbreak hits Norway cruise ship, could spread along coast
Nicht invasiver Bluttest erkennt Krebs vier Jahre früher als herkömmliche Diagnoseverfahren
Videos of Nigerian wedding massacre, mass burials go viral amid call for end to ethnic violence
Rules on outdoor mask-wearing go into effect for parts of France hardest hit by Covid-19
Providers: How Has Covid-19 Changed Your Practice?
Poverty is the most significant obstacle to happiness and well-being for children in England, report...
Boehringer Ingelheim steigert Umsatz - Biermann Medizin
Hundreds of militants remain at large after Islamic State group attack on prison
Spared from fire, Notre-Dame's organ set for lengthy restoration
‘The Biggest Monster’ Is Spreading. And It’s Not the Coronavirus.
A snapshot of how everyday life changed during the first coronavirus lockdown
COVID-19: Steigende Fallzahlen, aber keine akute Überlastung des Gesundheitswesens
A Hospital Forgot to Bill Her Coronavirus Test. It Cost Her $1,980.
US adds 47,508 COVID-19 cases in 24 hours

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Next Post

Shtatë të vdekur nga COVID-19 gjatë 24 orëve të fundit në vend

Tue Jul 28 , 2020
Gjatë 24 orëve të fundit, në Laboratorin e Mikrobiologjisë Molekulare në IKShPK me  metodën RT-PCR, janë testuar gjithsej 401 mostra të marra nga ShSKUK dhe gjurmimi i kontakteve të rasteve në terren prej të cilëve rezultojnë  239 raste pozitive. Gjatë këtyre orëve kanë ndërruar jetë edhe  7 pacientë të cilit […]