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Senate proposes establishment of National Agency for Control of Hepatitis

Hepatitis, commonly caused by viral infection, has become a striking health challenge in Nigeria which has prompted the Senate to propose the setting up of a new agency to combat this virus.

In it’s efforts, the Senate however drafted and passed a bill for the establishment of National Agency for the Control of Hepatitis (NACH).

Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Dr Ibrahim Oloriegbe, made the disclosure at the 5th edition of Mike Omotosho Annual Lecture with the theme “Achieveing Zero Hepatitis” held on Tuesday in Abuja.

Hepatitis refers to an inflammatory condition of the liver, which can be caused by other factors which includes, autoimmune hepatitis and hepatitis that occurs as secondary result of medications, drugs, toxins, and alcohol.

The lawmaker, therefore, stressed the need for increased awareness to educate Nigerians on the need to go for screening and for early medication.

He reiterated the determination of the Senate to stop the transmission of viral hepatitis and to make it to assume front burner position in public health disease control efforts like the control of HIV.

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“The Senate is taking steps to totally eradicate Hepatitis in the country.”

According to him, five health committees in the Senate and House of Representatives had earlier formulated the Legislative Health Agenda as regards an innovative approach to set the direction for legislative contribution to healthcare reform in the country.

He explained that the establishment of NACH would help to halt the transmission and eradicate of Hepatitis in the country before 2030, “because blood transfusion is one of the common modes of transmission of viral hepatitis in Nigeria, we are going to ensure the review and passage of this bill.

“This will ensure enhanced safety of transfused blood and emergency medical, surgical, obstetric and gynaecological outcomes in Nigeria.”

Oloriegbe noted that other areas that would be pursued to ensure health policy reforms and attainment of Universal Health Coverage include; National Health Insurance Commission Bill, State Health Insurance Scheme (SHIS).

Others are; National Health Act, NAFDAC Amendment Bill and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of tertiary health institutions bill.

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