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Nigerian Medical Journal

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Hepatitis C Virus Infection in Nigerians

O.S Ejiofor, G.O Emechebe, W.C Igwe, C.O Ifeadike, C.F Ubajaka

Abstract


Background: Hepatitis C virus is a chronic life long infection in the majority of patients who are infected with the virus. Not much is known and written/published about this virus in Nigeria. Objective: To asses the status of hepatitis C virus infection in Nigeria.
Materials and method: Sources of information were mainly from published works in and outside Nigeria. The information was extracted over a period of 12 months from January to December 2009.
Results: So far the prevalence of hepatitis C. virus infection is increasing in Nigeria, ranging from 4.7-5% in Ilorin, to 5.3-6.6% in Enugu, to 11% in Ibadan and 20% in Benin. Children and adults are all at risk of being infected especially sickle cell disease patients. Others include those who are exposed to the common risk factors like Blood transfusion, haemodialyisis, recycling of syringes and needles, sexual promiscuity.
Conclusion: Reduction in the Hepatitis C virus infection could be achieved by Health education campaign of the general public and by support from government and non-governmental organizations for the to provision of antiviral and immunostimulatory drugs free of charge for those already
infected.

Niger Med J. Vol. 51, No. 4,Oct. – Dec., 2010:173 – 176.

Keywords: hepatitis C virus, Nigeria, children, adults.




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