It is estimated that nine in every 10 people living with hepatitis have no idea they have the disease.
More than 70 million people are affected across Africa.
But a global race is on to eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030, and Women in Hepatitis Africa ,WIHA plans to sensitise a million women across Africa.
The Women in Hepatitis Africa hopes to train at least 50,000 champions against the disease 2030, starting with 10,000 in the next two years.
It is a move to get a critical mass of people committed to spreading awareness about viral hepatitis-the need for screening and vaccination to prevent onset of the disease.
Last week, it teamed up with Livewell Initative, drug makers GlaxoSmithkline and Biofirm to train and certify select nurses in Lagos for hepatitis screening and vaccination.
“The training is preparatory for the screening and vaccination in line with global thinking to screen and vaccinate,” said WIHA president Bisi Bright.
“If you screen and do not vaccinate, there’s a vacuum.”
Vaccine medical manager at GSK, Temitayo Olowookore, urged stronger cold-chain logistics to ensure potency of vaccines in health centres.
“We need to bear in mind that correct storage and management of the transportation and storage of vaccines at the health care facilities are very important to avoid higher likelihood of adverse effects,” he said.
Hepatitis is transmitted through faecal or oral route, through sexual contact, from mothers to babies, through exposure to needle, excessive intake of unprescribed drugs and contaminated food and water.
“Statistics has shown that globally over 350 million people are affected by hepatitis and its shocking that only 50 million people are aware of their status, while the rest 300 million people which make up 80percent are not aware,” said Michael Osakwe of Megalife sciences.