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Ensuring all Nigerians with Hepatitis B Receive Appropriate Care to Avert a Liver Disease Crisis

Hepatitis B is an infectious disease caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Nearly 300 million people worldwide live with this virus, which resulted in an estimated 820,000 preventable deaths in 2019. In 2016, WHO outlined a goal to end viral hepatitis as a public health problem by 2030. In a recent review, researchers systematically collected data to estimate the levels of HBV infection in Nigeria. This information will be critical for meeting global and national elimination goals. They found a prevalence of 9.5% – which is nearly 20,083,000 Nigerians. That is a high percentage. Infection rates differed by geographical area. The results point to the size of the potential liver disease crisis in Nigeria and where to focus prevention and care efforts with limited resources. The prevalence rate of 9.5% that emerged from our analysis means that Nigeria meets the WHO’s criteria for high endemicity.SOURCE: THE CONVERSATION