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Published On: Mon, Aug 3rd, 2020

Give free treatment to Hepatitis patients, gastroenterologist tells FG

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By Mashe Umaru Gwamna

A consultant gastroenterologist with the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Jabi, Abuja, Dr Okorie Michael Chidiebere has urged the Federal Government to as a matter of equity, give free treatment to Hepatitis patients, as they do for their HIV and other viral diseases counterparts.
It was reported that Hepatitis has caused about 1.4 million lives; B and C affect 325 million people and that there were about 290 undiagnosed carriers globally, who didn’t know their status.
To create awareness about its danger, World Hepatitis Day (WHD) is organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) which is marked globally every 28 July and the theme for the one of year 2020 was, “Find the Missing Millions.”
The gastroenterologist addressed journalists recently in his office.
“I advise the FG to do more, because not much has been done in the area of Hepatitis. Its patients are suffering; being discriminated against and stigmatised.
“When you compare Hepatitis patients with the HIV patients, you find out that HIV patients are preferentially treated and I don’t know why. There are some investigations you do for the HIV and Hepatitis patients, the HIV patients get the investigations free, while Hepatitis patients pay.
“For example, the government pays for viral load for HIV patients, while Hepatitis patient pays for theirs. I don’t know the rationale behind that. If you come to the drugs they use, HIV patients are given them free, but Hepatitis patients buy theirs. So I urge the government to treat Hepatitis patients as they treat other viral diseases’ patients.”

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  1. Israel says:

    Nigeria government should include the treatment of hepatitis in their plan as they did for HIV because it is also a killer disease which people can’t afford the treatment and drug.It has cure,our government and health providers should see to this from the advanced nations.

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