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Test regularly for hepatitis – Public advised

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The Director of Public Health, GHS, Dr Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe, has advised Ghanaians to regularly test for hepatitis to know their status for early treatment.

He said hepatitis was a global condition and that the World Health Organisation (WHO) was working towards its elimination by 2030.

Dr Asiedu-Bekoe gave the advice at the launch of the 2022 World Hepatitis Day themed: “Bringing Hepatitis Care Closer to Communities- Hep Can’t Wait” last Monday, July 25, 2022.

What is Hepatitis

Hepatitis is an inflammatory condition of the liver and is commonly caused by a viral infection.

The five main viral classifications of hepatitis are hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E with different viruses responsible for each type of viral hepatitis.

“Hepatitis is about investing. Investment here is not just government but also the private sector and that is why all partners must work together to bring the necessary investment to ensure that Ghana achieved the 2030 goal of eliminating the condition”, Dr Asiedu-Bekoe said.

Spread

Speaking on the spread of chronic hepatitis B, the Programme Manager, National Viral Hepatitis Control Programme, Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Atsu Godwin Seake-Kwaku said it accounted for 820,000 deaths with 6.6 million people on treatment in 2015.

The condition contributes to 12.3 per cent of the country’s disease burden with 1.5 million new infections per year.

Dr Seake-Kwaku said there was the need to increase interventions to deal with the condition.

According to him, in 2019, 3.3 per cent of the disease burden was also recorded for chronic hepatitis C, recording 1.5 million new infections per year, with 299,000 deaths and 9.4 million on treatment.

He added that the GHS was increasing its activities towards the elimination of viral hepatitis in the country.

According to him, the service has started the implementation of a project to screen pregnant women for the condition and vaccinate them after delivery to curtail the spread of the virus.

Dr Seake-Kwaku said it was important to increase prevention, testing, access to treatment and chronic care as the cost of medication for treatment was expensive.

 

Source: Graphic

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