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NHIS must cover Hepatitis B&C treatment

A Gastroenterologist at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, Dr Sally Afua Bampoh, has called on policymakers to add Hepatitis B and C to the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). 

That, she said, would make the vaccine affordable and accessible to the public.

At a free screening for Hepatitis in Accra, she said funding hepatitis treatment and services could bring care closer to communities to eradicate the spread and save lives.

The screening was organised by the Ghana Association for the Study of Liver and Digestive Diseases (GASLIDD), in collaboration with the Greater Accra Regional Hospital (Ridge Hospital), Hepatitis Society of Ghana, Tudu South Electoral area and Roche.

The screening was part of activities to commemorate World Hepatitis Day (WHD), on the theme “One Life, One Liver”, which argues that an individual has one life and liver; thus, if proper care was not taken, hepatitis could devastate both.

“Viral hepatitis infections are silent with symptoms showing once the disease has advanced,” she stated.

Dr Bampoh said the exercise was to screen individuals within the Ridge Hospital and Tudu surroundings and that they would offer free vaccinations for the first 450 people within these areas.


She explained that one in eight persons in the country has Hepatitis B (HBV) infection with a prevalence estimated at 12.3 per cent and one out of every 30 people have Hepatitis C (HCV), estimated at 3.3 per cent.

She noted that almost 90 per cent of people living with viral hepatitis were unaware they had it.

“HBV and HCV take a disproportionate toll on the poor who are more vulnerable, voiceless and less able to access or afford treatment due to high cost and stigmatisation,” she added.


Addressing the people at the screening, Dr Bampoh said there were about five types of the disease; Hepatitis A to E and that A and E were mainly transmitted orally through food and give acute infections and last in the body for six months.

However, she said Hepatitis B, C and D were serious and give chronic infections and could lead to complications of the liver, including cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Dr Bampoh encouraged the public to be assertive and take their health issues seriously by getting screened regularly and getting vaccinated to prevent getting infected.

A beneficiary, Dankwa Kwasi Boateng, said he had gotten to know the danger associated with the disease; hence, he took advantage of the initiative to get vaccinated for free to protect himself from future occurrences.

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