Richard Kofi Boahen
THINK HEALTH, a non-governmental organisation, has called for a more coordinated and integrated approach in Ghana in the fight against Hepatitis B in view of the devastating effects of the disease on the socio-economic fortunes of the country.
Richard Kofi Boahen, Executive Director of Think Health, in a statement issued in Sunyani on Monday to commemorate this year’s World Hepatitis Day, further called for intensive education on the disease, especially in the media in dealing with the Hepatitis B virus which, according to the WHO, is hundred times more infectious than the HIV virus.
Reports by the Hepatitis Society of Ghana suggest that out of every hundred Ghanaians, 13 may test positive for Hepatitis B, which is far more prevalent than HIV/AIDS.
Mr Boahen therefore appealed to the Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service and other stakeholders to step up their efforts at controlling the disease. ‘
As a result of the high prevalence of the Hepatitis B in Ghana, Think Health is proposing a free Hepatitis B test in all public health facilities across the country as a way of encouraging more Ghanaians, especially the poor, to know their status as far as the disease is concerned,’ he stated.
This, he said, would further encourage people to adopt healthy lifestyles and avoid acts that could put them at a higher risk of being infected with the disease. The results of the free test would also ensure that those who test positive would be put on treatment.
The NGO is also wants government to set up a special fund to financially support organisations which are into Hepatitis B control programmes in Ghana.
Hepatitis B is a viral infection that attacks the liver and can cause both acute and chronic disease. The virus is transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person.
More than 780, 000 people die every year due to the consequences of Hepatitis B. The disease, which is preventable with the currently available safe and effective vaccine, has become an important occupational hazard for health workers.
Hepatitis B is a potentially lifethreatening liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus. It is a major global health problem. It can cause chronic liver disease and chronic infection and puts people at high risk of death from cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer.
FROM Fred Tettey Alarti-Amoako, Sunyani
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