One in 8 Nigerians has hepatitis B – Expert

1315, Professor Okonta Matthew

One in eight Nigerians is infected by hepatitis B virus, a Professor of Clinical Pharmacy, Okonta Matthew, has said.

Read also: Odds of having Hepatitis B higher in Yobe

“Nigeria is an area of high endemicity for HBV with over 70 per cent of the population showing evidence of past infection of the virus while average of 13.7 per cent still has serological evidence of current infection. Since the current population of Nigeria is about 170 million according to the 2006 national census, the level of current infection is estimated to be 23 million in Nigeria according to current Nigerian treatment guidelines.

“The ratio of HBV infection in Nigeria is estimated at one in every eight persons. The prevalence of the disease is estimated at three times more than HIV/AIDS according to specialists,” Prof. Mathew of Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Management, University of Nigeria, told Punch.

Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus. It is one of five types of viral hepatitis. The others are hepatitis A, C, D, and E. Highly contagious, hepatitis spreads through contact with infected blood and certain other bodily fluids.

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