Professor Abraham Kwabena Anang, the Director of the Nugochi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), has called on Ghanaians to know their hepatitis status to manage themselves effectively.
He said treatment for the disease was possible if discovered on time and that those, who tested negative would have to be vaccinated against the virus.
Prof Anang made the call when the NMIMR held a medical outreach programme in commemorating the World Hepatitis Day celebration on the theme “Hepatitis Can’t Wait”.
With a person dying every 30 seconds from a hepatitis related illness – even in the current COVID-19 crisis, Ghana can’t wait to act on viral hepatitis, it added.
The medical outreach, which targeted the Legon community witnessed free Hepatitis Band C screening, Hepatitis B vaccination, as well as free hemoglobin check.
He said Hepatitis an inflammation or infection of the liver, which is caused by a virus and spreads when people come in contact with the blood, open sores, or body fluids of someone who has the hepatitis B virus.
He stated that Nugochi was interested as a biomedical research institute to aid national efforts in eliminating hepatitis to attain universal health coverage.
“We are reaching out to the community so that the purpose of science, research and community development will come to pass”, he added.
According to the NMIMR Director, the days of stigma were long gone as everyone was vulnerable to the disease hence, the need for all to know their status for early and effective treatment.
World Hepatitis Day is observed each year on 28 July to raise awareness of viral hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver that causes severe liver disease and liver cancer.