Cost of Treating Hepatitis B in Nigeria…How much does it cost to treat hepatitis B in Nigeria?
Hepatitis B: 250 MILLION cases, 900,000 deaths EVERY year. We have vaccine, prevention and some effective therapy such as Adefovir, Entecavir, Tenofovir, Lamivudine, Telbivudine etc.
It will cost you about 1 million naira or more yearly to completely treat your hepatitis B or keep your hepatitis B viral load or infectivity rate low. This amount quoted above goes into drugs, routine tests , clinical visits, special diets and other ancillary care.
Hepatitis is very expensive to treat…that it’s curable still remain controversial. To tell you how costly it is to treat hepatitis B, here is a tweet I copied from Twitter.
“Lol before my uncle died of Hepatitis B, we spent millions on him for about 3months. We (inadvertently) ended up spending his gratuity on his treatment, in the end we all knew he had to go & rest beyond. We also wished he passed on earlier so the pension could’ve helped his kids.”
Lol before my uncle died of Hepatitis B, we spent millions on him for about 3months. We (inadvertently) ended up spending his gratuity on his treatment, in the end we all knew he had to go & rest beyond. We also wished he passed on earlier so the pension could’ve helped his kids.
— Research (@facticism) March 17, 2021
The cost of treating hepatitis B is so high that someone had to call for help as he claims his family does not have the humongous amount of money required to manage hepatitis B.
@IlaajIndia Sir My brother us suffering from HBsAG (hepatitis B). My family don't have money to treatment for this disease disease.#sirpleasehelpme.
Sir please contact me and help me….!
Thank you…!! pic.twitter.com/VB52c1AGaZ
— Yadav Chandan (@Chandxn07) March 18, 2021
Why is hepatitis B so expensive to manage?
I am going to give you the breakdown so that you will understand what you are up against financially when it comes to cost of treating or curing hepatitis B virus infection.
1. Hepatitis B medications
Hepatitis B drugs are quite expensive and are not subsidized by government so you buy them out of pocket…Common examples of hepatitis B drugs in Nigeria include adefovir, Entecavir, Tenofovir, Lamivudine, Telbivudine, Livorlin forte (supplement) and interferon. Apart from interferon which comes as injection form, other drugs are tablets…to refill the cup of Lamivudine tablets or Entecavir tablets will cost you about N20,000 monthly for 30tablets while for interferon injection which is taken once weekly, a dose will cost you about #35,0000 naira and you are going to take it for at least 52 weeks…(do the multiplication and see).
2. Tests: Hepatitis B viral load.
While you are on hepatitis B treatment , your doctor will request you to do hepatitis B viral load test every 3 to 6 months so as to assess the amount of the hepatitis B virus still circulating in your blood (system). This test is used to assess your response to treatment instituted and the level of damage to your liver. In most standard labs hepatitis B viral load test cost between #35,000 – #100,000 naira. In the Nigerian Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos, the test cost about #34,000 naira.
Other investigations like Abdominal ultrasound scan to check for liver cirrhosis, serial liver function tests, serial kidney function tests, full blood count will cost you additional amount of about $100,000 naira .
To conclude, you can now see that the cost of treating hepatitis b in Nigeria even runs between 1 million naira to 2 million naira in a year per person.
Dont forget that about 20 million Nigerians are living with hepatitis B but they cannot get treatment because they cannot afford it.It is time for the government and spirited individuals launched a trust fund for persons living with viral hepatitis, included some hepatitis B drugs on NHIS cover, provided subsidy on hepatitis b drugs and if possible made some drugs free. I know it is not that easy but it is implementable.
Prevention is cheaper than cure…go and get tested for hepatitis b virus and if negative go and get the hepatitis b vaccine.
This article is the intellectual property of De Udomoh for www.nimedhealth.com.ng