Health Care

Hepatitis B, C infections, leading causes of death in Ghana - GHS

Hepatitis B, C infections, leading causes of death in Ghana - GHS”

Prakasam District Medical and Health Officer B. Vinod Kumar has underscored the need for stepping up awareness on viral hepatitis, which was emerging as a major public health concern in the country.

The reported incidence rate of hepatitis A in the country registered a record low of 1.17 per 100,000 people, Chang said in Beijing earlier this week at a conference to mark the World Hepatitis Day which falls on Sunday.

Hepatitis refers to the inflammation which happens in the liver, causing damage to it.

A person can be infected with Hepatitis B or C when exposed directly to the body fluids and blood of an infected person through wounds, sharing needles and sex.

Lions Club of Ongole Citizens president Sk. World Hepatitis Alliance says that an estimated 290 million of men, women and children are presently living with the disease unknowingly. In particular, types B and C lead to chronic disease in hundreds of millions of people and, together, are the most common cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer.

Students who took part in a poster contest on the occasion were given away prizes.

The World Health Organization estimates that 325 million people are living with viral hepatitis B and C worldwide - and many of them don't know it. Hepatitis B vaccine provides lifelong protection.

As of latest report substantial increase has been witnessed in the number of hepatitis cases in Punjab all due to contaminated water, unhealthy food and poor health practices.

- Preventing hepatitis B also prevents hepatitis D, as it can only develop in those already infected with hepatitis B.

She also warned that "the journey [to elimination] is not yet complete" and that the government must "be vigilant" and ensure people are encouraged to get tested and given access to treatment.

So it is mandatory to test a mother for Hepatitis B during pregnancy and take preventions after positive results including immunologic and vaccination.

Moeti said that the highest-burden of Hepatitis B infection in children under five years was seen in countries without Hepatitis B birth-dose vaccination.

A Gastroenterology specialist in Dubai, also an internist with over 25 years of work experience, has supported the call of a colleague in Abu Dhabi for more awareness campaign as well as for improved testing and diagnostics on liver health.

In places where a diagnosis is available, the lack of knowledge about the disease and the high cost of diagnosis and treatment have made the services unattainable for many Nigerians.

But as a outcome of more research on liver diseases since 1999, recent documentations have revealed "obesity, diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia are high risk factors that can lead to the deposition of fat in the liver which if increased over time will lead to the inflammation of the liver cells called NASH".

Phom urged the state medical fraternity to execute the programme sincerely and to make sure that no deserving beneficiaries are left out from availing the benefit, specially from the rural areas. Cases of hepatitis C are nearly curable by administering antibiotic therapy treatment for three months.

Nowadays, it is extremely rare for hepatitis B to be spread through blood transfusion or organ transplantation.

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