Divine Mother And Child Foundation - an NGO in the promotion of maternal and child health calls on the general public to test for their hepatitis B status, vaccinate and seek early care after testing as part of their activities to the mark the 2015 world hepatitis day celebration.

The world hepatitis day which is celebrated on the 28th of July every year is focussing on preventing viral hepatitis and this year with the theme 'Prevent hepatitis. Act now'

Viral hepatitis is a group of infectious diseases known as hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E and affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide, causing acute and chronic liver disease and killing close to 1.5 million people every year, mostly from hepatitis B and C.

Hepatitis B is relatively common in Ghana; a prevalence rate of 15.3% was recorded in Ghana in the year 2001. This disease is ranked by the World Health Organization as the ninth leading cause of death in the world, while the Ghana Health Service estimated the disease prevalence as 1(one) in every 6 (six) individuals, representing 40 per cent of the population.

However, many people don't have any symptoms and symptoms may include: extreme tiredness, mild fever, headache, loss of appetite, nausea, and or vomiting, constant discomfort on the right side of the belly under the rib cage - that's where the liver is located, diarrhea or constipation, muscle aches or joint pain, skin rash and jaundice - this means that the skin and whites of the eyes look yellow.

Hepatitis B is highly contagious and can be passed from person to person very easily through bodily fluids such as blood, saliva, semen and vaginal fluids :
- from mother to baby (usually during childbirth) - this is the most common way that hepatitis B is spread worldwide.
- through using contaminated needles and syringes to inject drugs.
- through sharing razors or toothbrushes that are contaminated with small amounts of infected blood through an open wound.
- from contaminated medical or dental equipment that isn't sterilized properly.
- from contaminated tattooing equipment that isn't sterilized properly.
- by receiving blood from an infected donor in countries where blood isn't tested (in Ghana all blood donations are tested for hepatitis B in the health facilities).
- by having unprotected sex(either canal, oral or anal).

The disease which spread easily can be prevented with a safe and effective vaccine which gives protection for life.

Pregnant mothers should be tested and vaccinated.
Mothers should send their children to antenatal clinics so they can get vaccinated as well.
Sexually active persons should abstain from sex if not married or protect themselves when having sex.

The cost of hepatitis B vaccines in Ghana is very high for the ordinary Ghanaian. Some hospitals charge as much as 15ghc to 25 ghc per shot for three shots. The poor and needy persons can't always afford to pay. The drugs too for treating the disease is also expensive

We therefore urge government and other stakeholders to make sure testing equipment and vaccines are in the local communities for individuals to get tested and seek early treatment to prevent the spread of the disease.

We ask the ministry of health and the government to make or have a policy where all persons can take the hepatitis vaccinations for free.

We believe this will help the average Ghanaian know his status and help reduce the prevalence of viral hepatitis

To end it all we urge everybody to "Prevent hepatitis. Act now! "

For more information, please contact us on
☎ + 233(0) 34 2197 398
📱 + 233(0) 24 9396 497