Unlike other states of the federation that has continue to improve on their health sector thereby reducing to the barest minimum their prevalence rates of HV/AIDS, Hepatitis B and C and other infectious diseases, the reverse as observed by Naija247 News, is no doubt the case with Taraba state, as the state has again took over the driver seat ranking as the highest state infected with hepatitis B and C in the Nigeria.
It would be recall that the state ranked first in the north and second in the country with the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate of 10.5 person, the situation which has continue to hastening the transmission of Mother-To-Child transmission of the epidemic, without the government deeming it fit to Marshall out plans to halt the spread.
While the National prevalence rate of both hepatitis B and C, as observed by our state correspondent is presently pegged at 12% and 2.2%, that of Taraba state, has accelerated to 25% and 15% respectively.
Like the HIV/AIDS, the alarming rate of both hepatitis B and C, is no doubt fast accelerating that of HIV/AIDS, the situation which has began to hurriedly usher large percentage of persons that have no access to treatments to the graveyards.
The revelation of the state comfortably leading the hepatitis chart which was made by the Executive Board Member, World Hepatitis Alliance, Africa Region, Danjuma K. Adda, at the occasion of World Hepatitis Day, was tied to the apron string of the lukewarm attitudes of the government to extend the much needed helping hands to organizations willing to halt the spread and transmission of the viruses.
Identifying poor access to prevention, poor access to drugs and medicines across the country, as well as poor access to diagnosis, among others as major reason for its continuous spread, all hands, as suggested by him, must as a matter of urgency be on deck to salvage the situation.
Adda who doubles as the Executive Director, CHAGRO-CARE TURST, noted that 95% of persons infected by hepatitis are ” unaware” adding that “less than 1% of those infected have access to treatment.”
Disclosing that Nigeria government was among the 194 countries that are signatory to the Global Health Section on Viral Hepatitis, which hinged on eliminating Viral Hepatitis as target by 2030, early diagnosis as noted by him, provides the best opportunity for effective medical support, noting that ” it also allows those infected to take steps to,prevent transmission of the disease to others.”
Since according to him, about one million deaths per year are attributed to viral hepatitis infections, one actually wondered the number of persons in Taraba state, that have been compelled to surrender to death as a result of increasing rate of the viruses which they said has taken over the position of HIV/AIDS prevalence.
According to Adda, ” nearly one out of every three people in the world has been infected by HBV, and one in twelve live with chronic HBV or HCV infection.”
While most of the people infected with these viruses, according to him ” are unaware of their infection” such persons, as made known by him face the ” possibility of developing debilitating or fatal liver disease at some point in their lives and unknowingly transmitting the infection to others.”
He also felt sad that many people which includes the health policy makers” remain unaware of its staggering toll on global health” as hepatitis in his word is one of the most ” prevalent and serious infectious condition in the world.”
Some health officials at the state Ministry of Health, who did not want their names in print, claimed that they are aware of the current prevalent rate of the viruses, but claimed to be handicap.
According to one of them ” the prevalent rate has been brought to our noticed. But I must confess to you that on our own, there is nothing we can do of the Executive arm of the government has continue to fold its hand.
Citing the way and manner the HIV/AIDS, has continue to force out tears from the faces of the people of the state due to government lukewarm attitudes, the present case of hepatitis, he said have become ” a source of concern to some of us but unfortunately, our government is not showing concern.”
Some persons who where screened by the CHAGRO CARE TRUST, believed that the issue of HIV/AIDS in the state would have been a thing of the past, had the state government deemed it fit to borrow leaves from neighboring states that have worked tirelessly round the clock to reduced the spread in their domains.
Lauding the efforts of the leadership of the CHAGRO CARE TRUST, the screened person, beckoned at the state government as well as well withers in the state and in the country at large to as a matter of urgency extend helping hands to CCT, so that its dream of eliminating the viruses from the state would see the light of the day.
Determined not to be discourage from standing tall against the viruses, Adda, whom Naija247 News observed have being carrying out sensitization campaigns in the nooks and crannies of the state and the country at large, said his organization would not allow the present circumstances in the state and the country to weigh him and his team down from confronting headlong the issue of hepatitis.
Adda who has being traversing the country and the globe preaching against the continue spread of hepatitis, also went all hands to be on deck, as that according to him, would herald hope to the hopeless.
The question that is however begging for an answer following the vox pop carried out by our correspondent, is why has Taraba state continue to take the leadership position in things that are inimical to the people and often take the back seat in activities that are designed to spread smiles on the faces of its people.