Posted: Saturday 9th August 2014 at 11:36 am

500,000 people die annually from Hepatitis ‘B’


Dr Alhassan Abdul-Mumin, a Doctor at the Tamale Teaching Hospital on Friday disclosed that more than 500,000 people die annually from Hepatitis B related diseases around the world.

He said more than 2 billion people were infected with the disease globally, which needs a holistic approach to address the phenomenon.

Dr Abdul-Mumin disclosed this during a workshop in Tamale on World Hepatitis Day, which was organised by the Comfort Foundation, Ghana.

The event was on the theme: “Prevention of mother-to child transmission of hepatitis B – Act now to protect a new generation!” which aimed at building the capacity of caregivers working directly with hepatitis B infected women before, during and after delivery.

He said most transmissions in hyper-endemic areas take place before the age of 10 years.

He stated that the Hepatitis B disease is contracted through contacts with body fluids, blood transfusions, sharing of household items, and that, the major risk of transmission was through the birth canal and breast feeding.

Dr Abdul-Mumin said there was the need to put pragmatic measures in place to prevent infection in babies, whose mothers have chronic infection of the disease.

He said pregnant women go through screening at antenatal, with about 95 per cent of them receiving at least an ANC from skilled professionals at the hospitals.

Mr Damasus Suglo, the Director of Comfort Foundation Ghana said viral hepatitis is affecting the lives of many people in the country but not much attention was being given to the affected people.

He urged all stake holders to partner the government to share information among caregivers to prevent women and children from contracting the disease.

Participants included Obstetricians, Gynaecologists and Antenatal care personnel from the Tamale Teaching Hospital, Kpandai, Damongo and the Tamale Central and the Tamale West Hospitals as well as other health facilities and NGOs.

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