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Make screening of Hepatitis mandatory for pregnant women – Lecturer By CitiFMonline

Written by | November 20, 2016 | 0

story-2A Lecturer at University of Ghana, Dr Florence Naab has called on government to devise a policy that will make it mandatory for pregnant women to be screened for hepatitis.

According to Dr. Naab, hepatitis B ought to be given the same attention HIV and Malaria has been receiving since it is a vaccine preventable disease.

Hepatitis B infection remains one of the most important public health issues in the world. According to the World Health Organisation, about 240 million people are living as chronic carriers of the infection and 686,000  lives  are lost  every year.

Ghana is equally affected with a prevalence estimate of 8 to 20%. In a recent scientific workshop organised by the Hepatitis Alliance of Ghana,

She further expressed worry about mother to child transmission of the infection and called for policy to make screening of hepatitis B compulsory for all pregnant women.

She said “we need policies to make the screening for hepatitis B during pregnancy mandatory at all health institutions, and we need financial resources to make the vaccine readily available in all labour rooms. As a result, without the government and policy makers, health professional may be handicapped in the prevention of mother to child transmission of the hepatitis B virus in Ghana”. She indicated that the existence of such a policy will ensure that all babies born to known hepatitis B positive mothers receive the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine within 24 hours after birth as recommended by the World Health Organization.

Mr Charles Ampong Adjei, a public health specialist, shared some of the psychological trauma hepatitis B infected persons experience after diagnosis.

He called on government to integrate hepatitis B services into the already existing HIV structures to enable affected individuals to seek support and care.

He admonished the health workers to provide pre-test and post- test counseling for their clients before and after hepatitis B screening.

Mr Stephen Corquaye, a clinical pharmacist at Korle-Bu teaching hospital called on government to subside the cost of hepatitis B vaccine especially Immunoglobulin to make it affordable and accessible to the patients.

Dr Peter Kwabena Fosu, a medical director of Danpong Medical Center and a board member of hepatitis Alliance of Ghana also called on  heads of various hospitals to select one clinic day for management and care of patient with liver problem.

Over two hundred (200) health professionals attended the workshop held at the Regional training Unit, Accra.


Filed in: General News, Health

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