The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has inaugurated a Hepatitis Project at the 37 Military Hospital, which seeks to create awareness, and provide medical attention for military personnel.
The project is built upon the National Hepatitis Policy, established by the Ministry of Health in 2015, to provide responses to hepatitis challenges in the country.
A statement signed by Major A. G Pabi, Hospital Public Relations Officer and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, said that the Hepatitis Project is a major step towards providing “education on viral hepatitis transmission, presentation, and treatment”.
The project covers vaccination, which is a prevention strategy to protect people against Hepatitis B.
The project includes screening of personnel in uniform and non-uniform and dependants, to determine the viral hepatitis burden within the GAF, as well as initiate treatment for persons diagnosed as positive.
It also includes vaccination activities for persons who are Hepatitis B negative, and non-immune and counselling on viral hepatitis transmission prevention for persons who are Hepatitis C virus negative.
The statement said approximately four million of Ghana’s 28 million people have the disease, a national rate greater than 8 per cent, which is more than four times the national prevalence of HIV.
Viral hepatitis (Hepatitis B and C) is a potentially life threatening liver infection and chronic disease, which leads to the development of liver cancer and liver cirrhosis, which results in early death.
The project would lead to the initiation of disease awareness programmes, screening, training healthcare providers on diagnostic protocols, improving access to laboratory diagnostics in the military, access to innovative treatments and development of military prevalence data.