Monday, July 29, 2013

Ghana rated high risk for Hepatitis B, C

Ghana is rated a high risk country for Hepatitis B and C with between 10 and 15 percent prevalence rate. Out of every 100 Ghanaians, 13 may test positive for Hepatitis B, which is far more prevalent than HIV/AIDS. Currently, Hepatitis B and C had no cure but people who had tested positive could be managed to have prolonged lifespan. It is advisable that all Ghanaians should get tested and vaccinated against such a highly infectious disease.

Most people are not aware of the disease and even if people are aware, they had not been vaccinated for protection. There should be concerted efforts by all stakeholders to educate and vaccinate the citizenry against the disease. Currently, only children undergoing primary immunization are having free immunization against the disease.

If the virus is not detected early, it becomes chronic hepatitis which affects the liver and results in cancer and inflammation of the liver. Chronic hepatitis would also show symptoms such as severe cold, yellowish eyes, swollen legs, lack of appetite for food, high body temperature and redness of the liver.

Currently, 500 million people worldwide are said to be living with Hepatitis B virus with 200 million infected with Hepatitis C.

Free screening and counseling was organised in Ghana for Hepatitis B and C to mark the occasion of World Hepatitis Day.


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