The World Health Organization,WHO has called on partners and pharmaceutical companies to reduce the cost of hepatitis B and C diagnostics and medicines.
The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti who made the call in a message to mark this year’s World hepatitis day urged member
states to invest in public health approach towards elimination of viral hepatitis B and C in Africa .
Dr Moeti, who was represented by the WHO Officer In Charge in Nigeria, Mr Clement Peters noted that funding hepatitis, testing and treatment services as part of universal health coverage was a cost-effective investment.
“Countries should invest in hepatitis B vaccination for all newborns and integrate hepatitis interventions as part of health system strengthening. This includes building on existing laboratory capacities for HIV and TB,”
“Together with the research community, we can collectively explore ways to simplify testing and treatment, and promote innovation towards a cure for hepatitis B and a vaccine for hepatitis C.”
”Despite the availability of diagnostic tools and effective treatment, less than one in 10 of the 71 million people with hepatitis B or C in Africa have access to testing and more than 200 000 die each year due to complications like end-stage liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. “
The theme for this year’s world hepatitis day is “Invest in Eliminating Hepatitis”