WHO urges Plateau State to check hepatitis through free treatment


The World Health Organisation (WHO), has called on the Plateau State Government to curtail the spread of hepatitis by screening and treating affected patients in the state for free.


Wadzingi Bassi, the Plateau coordinator for WHO, gave this advice in an interview with the press in Jos.


Bassi said that the free treatment would enable many to know their status and in the long run, help in stemming the spread of the disease.


According to him, the funding, which is part of the universal health coverage is worth investing in, as this will be a public health approach to the elimination of the disease in the state.


The state coordinator said in spite of the availability of diagnostic tools and effective treatment, less than one in ten persons out of the 71 million people with hepatitis B or C in Africa had access to screening.


He said that more than 200,000 people in the continent died each year due to complications from hepatitis such as end stage liver cirrhosis and cancer of the liver.


The coordinator pointed out that the disease could be eliminated by 2030 with adequate resources and strong political commitment.