Over 20 million Nigerians are suffering from viral hepatitis.

Over 20 million Nigerians are suffering from viral hepatitis.

Guild of Medical Directors (GMD) has on Thursday advised parents to ensure their children were vaccinated against Hepatitis, saying an estimated 20 million Nigerians were suffering from viral hepatitis.

The Public Relations Officer of the guild, Dr Biodun Ogungbo, said this in a statement issued in preparation for a GMD scientific conference scheduled for May 27 in Abuja.

Ogungbo said majority of infected persons did not know they had the disease, saying that protection from viral hepatitis was important and a task that must be done.

He explained that Hepatitis was inflammation (swelling) of the liver which could lead to damage of the liver and death.

“We need to vaccinate babies and children so we can raise an army of children who are immune to the disease.

“This immunity is life-long and the vaccine protects them from contracting the disease.

“They can lead normal lives without fear of catching viral hepatitis and they cannot transmit the disease to other people,” Ogungbo said.

He said sexual intercourse was a way of contracting viral hepatitis, saying the symptoms of the disease of acute hepatitis included fatigue, flu-like symptoms, dark urine, pale stool, abdominal pain and loss of appetite.

The guild spokesman said others included unexplained weight loss, yellow skin and eyes, which might be signs of jaundice, adding that the symptoms could resemble that of malaria.

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