Health

‘State must take over management of Hepatitis’

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Ellis Kwamena Otabil

Youth activist, Mr Ellis Kwamena Otabil has called on the state to take over the management and control of Hepatitis cases in the country from a central point just like HIV and AIDS.

This, according to Mr Otabil, would enable the state to mitigate the concomitant effect of the disease on the general population and lessen the risks of those living with it.

Speaking to The Chronicle on the occasion of the World Hepatitis Day, Mr Otabil noted that Hepatitis cases were gradually escalating in the country and called for urgent interventions.

He said “The World Health Organisation (WHO) is reporting that the world is currently facing a new outbreak of unexplained acute Hepatitis infections, which is affecting children.

“I find this development to be worrisome in our part of the world especially where we have not done enough to contain the spread of the five types of the already known ones,” he added.

He stated that the country has been able to manage the spread of HIV and AIDS largely because of the establishment of state sponsored institutions, which is the Ghana AIDS Commission.

He, therefore, called on the state to place an additional responsibility on the shoulders of the Ghana AIDS Commission so that the Commission could lead the fight, control, prevention and management of Hepatitis cases in the country.

“This responsibility must also come with additional financial resources and logistical support so that the quest to stem the disease could be achieved”.

Call on parliament

According to Mr Ellis Kwamena Otabil, who is also the Convener of Organised Youth of Effutu, many parents could not afford immuneglobin at the cost of GH¢800.00 for the treatment of their children.

He added that Ghana would be able to fight Hepatitis cases if the government, through a comprehensive policy, could include its management under the control of the Ghana AIDS Commission.

He, therefore, called on his Member of Parliament, Mr Alexander AfenyoMarkin to table a motion in the house for a debate on his proposal.

“I will want my MP to lay a motion in parliament that will make the Ghana AIDS Commission have additional responsibility of controlling, preventing and managing all types of hepatitis cases,” he said.

On World Hepatitis Day 2022, WHO highlighted the need to bring Hepatitis care closer to the primary health facilities and communities.

This, WHO indicated, would create an enabling environment so that people could have better access to treatment and care, no matter what type of Hepatitis they may have.

WHO further called on countries to achieve specific targets so that its aims to achieve hepatitis elimination by 2030 could be realised. In view of the set targets, WHO admonished countries to reduce new infections of hepatitis B and C by 90% and reduce hepatitis related deaths from liver cirrhosis and cancer by 65%.

Additionally, WHO wanted nations to ensure that at least 90% of people with Hepatitis B and C virus were diagnosed; and at least 80% of those eligible receive appropriate treatment.

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