EXECUTIVE eirector of the Beacon Youth Initiative, BYI, Mr. Evoh Emmanuel has attributed the perpetuating global burden of viral hepatitis on lack of awareness at individual, community and government levels in the country and world at large. He observed that less than five percent of the people living with viral hepatitis worldwide were unaware of their condition, largely due to the disease being mostly asymptomatic and the lack of routine screening and awareness. Emmanuel made the assertion yesterday at an event marking the 2016 World Hepatitis Day in Lafia, Nasarawa State, with theme as ‘Elimination of Viral Hepatitis.’ He called on the federal and state governments and other partners to take responsibility by scaling up hepatitis testing services and bproviding treatment to reduce needless deaths. Emmanuel revealed that his organisation had carried out a four-day activities to mark the 2016 Hepatitis Day at four different locations across the southern part of Nasarawa State. “This year’s activities were carried out at must-reach locations within these two local government areas of Lafia and Obi (Agwatashi, Duduguru, Adogi and Tudun Abu).” He explained that the communities were reached with awareness campaigns, free Hepatitis B and C testing, Hepatitis B vaccination, advocacies to traditional heads, distribution of stickers and handbills with key information on viral hepatitis. “About 1000 persons benefitted from the free testing and vaccination programme. But from the testing and awareness campaign carried out in these communities, it is a well documented fact that majority of people in these communities are unaware of their status,” he said.

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