Hepatitis is real – GHS Director

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Madam Mariatu Seidu, the Acting Effutu Municipal Director of Ghana Health Service (GHS), says Hepatitis is real and needs collective responsibility for prevention, testing and treatment.
She stated this in an address delivered at the official launch of Mumbies Foundation Ghana, a health initiative and a non-governmental organization founded in 2019 to help break the Cycle of Mother to Child transmission of Hepatitis B in communities in the Effutu Municipality.
The event on the theme: “Bringing Hepatitis care close to you” was also used to commemorate the 2022 World Hepatitis Day to raise global awareness of the disease.
Chiefs, Assembly Members, Civil Society groups, lecturers and students of basic and second cycle schools and officials of Ghana Education Service in Effutu Municipality attended the event.
Madam Seidu said statistics showed that a person dies of a hepatitis-related disease every second, totalling about 3,600 death every day globally.
Also, there are three million new infections annually worldwide, attributed to Hepatitis B and C, which are regarded as the commonest among the five traits.
She said the World Health Organization’s (WHO) report on Africa indicated that about 90 million people, representing 26 per cent of the global figure, have the disease, adding that governments must invest more in the fight to eliminate it.
Madam Seidu said it had been established that 4.5 million African children under five were infected with Hepatitis disease and among them, nine out of 10 were never tested because of limited awareness and access to testing and treatment.
She indicated that four million of the population had hepatitis “B” in Ghana and most of the people got to know their status when they attempted to donate blood.
The Acting Director informed the gathering that in Central Region 6.60 per cent of the people were infected with Hepatitis “B” and from the first quarter of 2020 to 2022, the Effutu Municipality recorded a total of 230 cases.
“Indeed, we acknowledge the contribution and efforts by the government over the past few years, which led to the formation of National Policy on viral Hepatitis Goal, which is to ensure Hepatitis is eradicated in the country to minimize morbidity and mortality,” she said.
Madam Seidu called for strong advocacy, resource mobilization and strengthened surveillance on early detection, screening, vaccination and effective monitoring and evaluation, among others, to curb Hepatitis “B” from society.
She, therefore, urged participants of the programme to be ambassadors of disease prevention for their community members to avail themselves at the various health facilities in the municipality for screening, diagnosis and management for a happier, healthier and safer country.
“What we need now is a collaboration with all stakeholders and financial investments to fight the canker, since advocacy is essential towards achieving the 2030 goal of no infection by 90 per cent and mortality by 65 per cent.
Mr Israel Adorbley, Founder of the Foundation, in his address, commended Mr Alexander Ato Kwamina Afenyo-Markin, the Member of Parliament for Effutu Constituency, for solely sponsoring the Foundation’s activities over the years.
He stated that Mumbies Foundation Ghana’s vision was to create a Hepatitis “B” prevalence free in Effutu Municipality.
Mr Adorbley, who is also the project manager of the Foundation, announced that Ghana’s 2020 world hepatitis day report estimated that, 92,000 to 147,000 newborns were exposed to the disease by their mothers during delivery.
He said up to 90 per cent of the babies may end up being infected if they did not receive birth dose hepatitis “B” vaccine and prophylaxis.
The outcome of the survey indicated that nine babies were saved from contracting the disease through the provision of free HBIG for 4,017 people offered free screening.
Alhaji Zubairu Kassim Effutu, the Municipal Chief Executive, who chaired the event applauded the founders of the Foundation for the bold step and pledged the Assembly’s support to ensure that the citizenry lived happily devoid of the disease.

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