40% of Ghanaians are estimated to have hepatitis as the disease is prevalence in one in every 6 persons.This was contained in a statement issued by Divine Mother and Child Foundation on World Hepatitis Day on Tuesday, July 28, 2015.

According to the statement signed by the President of DMAC foundation, Edmund Atweri Duodu, Hepatitis kills 1.5 million people yearly across the globe. 

"..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"

He said the  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 percent of the population

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 focusing on preventing viral hepatitis and this year with the theme Prevent hepatitis. Act now 

According to Edmund Duodu, many people don't have any symptoms but the most common 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. 

He stated that, 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). Having unprotected sex (either vaginal, oral or anal). 

He noted that, the disease which spread easily can be prevented with a safe and effective vaccine which gives protection for life.

Edmund Duodu,a nurse by Profession mentioned that, 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. 

 He said, the cost of hepatitis B vaccines in Ghana is very high for the ordinary Ghanaian as some hospitals charge as much as GHS15 to GHS25 per shot for three shots.

The poor and needy persons can't always afford to pay for the vaccine and treatment which is also expensive therefore urge government to absorb it in the National Health Insurance.

He called for accessibility of testing equipment and vaccines in the local communities for individuals to get tested and seek early treatment to prevent the spread of the disease.

He also appealed to 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".


  Date | July 29, 2015

Source | Brytfmonline.com