The Nasarawa State Commissioner for Health Ahmed Yahaya has said that no fewer than 18,429 people have tested positive for Hepatitis “B” and “C” in the state.

He stated this yesterday in Lafia during a press briefing in commemoration of the 2022 World Hepatitis Day tagged “Bringing Hepatitis Care Closer to you.”

He said a total of 181,946 residents were screened but 18,429 tested positive for the disease, adding that some of the infected people were currently receiving treatments in the government hospitals across the 13 local government areas of the state.

He said: “The World Hepatitis Day is a day set aside by the World Health Organisation to recognise viral Hepatitis as a global public health challenge.

“It is commemorated every July 28 in order to increase the visibility of this disease and attract more resources for the battle against it.

“In Africa, it is estimated that about 15-60 per cent of the normal population are living with either HBV or HCV, while the national burden for HBV and HCV stands at 8.1 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively (NATIS. 2018). The Nasarawa State burden stood at about 16 per cent and 13.2 per cent seroprevalence for HBV and HCV respectively.

The commissioner further narrated that in order to tackle the virus, the state government created testing centres across the 13 councils for mass community screening, even as he called on the residents to avail themselves of the opportunity provided by the screening,” Yahaya added.