Dr. Oluwayemisi Ajiyan, Consultant Nephrologist with the Internal Medicine Department at the Alimosho General Hospital has revealed that Hepatitis infection has become a dangerous and deadlier silent killer than Human Immune Deficiency Virus (AIDS).
Speaking on Tuesday at an event organised to mark World Hepatitis Day, Dr. Ajiyan said that anyone can contact the virus from as little contact as a drop of sweat from infected victims.
She advocated for screening and vaccination as a means of curbing the spread of the disease, saying “Blood infected by hepatitis could be viral for six months after extraction. As such, it is imperative we consider screening as a paramount course of treatment”.
Ajiyan explained that Hepatitis is an inflammatory condition of the liver which could lead to its total damage as well as the kidneys, if left untreated, revealing the disheartening reality that many people are ignorant of being infected by the disease until they fall ill.
According to her, “The World Health Organisations reveals that 325 million people are living with viral hepatitis B & C, while over 2.8 million became infected with the virus in 2017”.
Explaining the causes and symptoms of the disease, she stated that hepatitis could be contacted through sexual intercourse with an infected partner, unsterilised objects, mother to child as well as through prolonged contact with the sweat of an infected person.
She said that symptoms may be in form of mild or non-existent fatigue, dark urine, pale stool, abdominal pains, loss of appetite, weight loss, yellow skin and eyes which may be an indication of jaundice.
She advised individuals to know their status by getting screened and immunised, noting that immediate commencement of treatment early after detection is key to survival for those infected.
“For the newborn, recent arrangements had been made to incorporate the vaccines into their immunisation packages, however, children above 10 years of age, should be immunised against hepatitis”, she stated.