Thursday, February 20, 2020 5:28 pm | Metro | 0 Comment(s)
Gov Abdullahi Sule, of Nasarawa, says his administration has committed the sum of N40 million towards the eradication of viral Hepatitis C, in the state.
Sule made this disclosure on Thursday, in Lafia, while inaugurating a Technical Working Group (TWG), to execute the state’s five-year plan for the elimination of the disease.
He said that the plan was in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) elimination goal of 2023, aimed at screening 2.4 million persons, as well as providing treatment for over 124, 000 others.
The governor commended the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), development partners for the programme, for collaborating with the state government.
Sule said that the intervention had become necessary, considering that viral hepatitis, among other communicable diseases, contributed greatly to the high mortality rates, with estimated 1.3m deaths yearly across the globe.
He reiterated his administration’s determination to save lives and help people of the state live healthy.
Sule said further that his administration was leveraging on the gains of former governor Umaru Al-Makura-led government, by working closely with other development partners, such as CHAI, in order to domesticate the national treatment guidelines and integrated innovative diagnostic technologies, for Hepatitis C Virus (HCV).
“A study conducted in Nasarawa state showed a prevalence rate of 13.2 per cent for Hepatitis C virus, a figure significantly higher than the country’s average. This calls for great concern and immediate attention, ” the governor said.
He further urged members of the TWG, to live above board in the fight against the disease.
He urged development partners and local and international stakeholders in the health sector, to work in synergy with the TWG, in the collective determination to reduce the scourge of hepatitis C viral infection in the state.
Earlier, Dep. Country Director, CHIA, Mrs. Folu Lufadeju, commended the state government for investing in the sector, to further address public health issues.
According to the country director, Hepatitis C is a growing public health burden, with over 325 million persons living with the disease.
She pointed out that while deaths due to HIV/AIDS was decreasing, deaths through hepatitis C was increasing.
Lufadeju, however, added that there were now effective and affordable tools for diagnosis and treatment of patients, with even complicated cases of hepatitis C, that allows for simplification of care and decentralisation of services.
In his remarks, Ahmed Yahaya, the State Commissioner of Health, who is also a pharmacist, and chairman of the TWG, restated that Hepatitis C has been a great health burden globally.
Yahaya disclosed that nine per cent of deaths globally were caused by the disease, with Nigeria contributing 8.1 per cent of hepatitis B and 1.1 per cent of hepatitis C.
He said that the state has a 13.2 prevalence rate, making it the highest in the country.