The World Hepatitis Day is observed each year on the 28th day of July to raise awareness of viral hepatitis which causes inflammation of the liver that leads to severe disease and liver cancer.
The 2022 edition has been held at the University of Education, Winneba on the theme: "Bringing Hepatitis care close to you”.
The Project Manager of Mumbies Foundation Ghana, Mr. Israel Adorbley in his speech at the celebration and the launch of the Foundation said the World Health Organization (WHO) has indicated that an estimate of 350 million people are chronically living with viral Hepatitis.
He added that Ghana is estimated at 3-4.6 million people chronically living with Hepatitis B which is a national burden.
According to Mr. Adorbley, Ghana Health Service in the 2020 world Hepatitis day report estimated that 92,000 to 147,000 new-borns will be exposed to the disease by their mothers during delivery and up to 90% of these new born babies, may end up being infected if they don’t receive birth dose Hepatitis B vaccine and prophylaxis.
In reference to the Effutu municipality, he emphasised that "In my municipality, a survey on Hepatitis B indicated that an estimate of 8% are infected with the disease. In other words, 1 out of 12 of every person is chronically living with Hepatitis B. Again, of the total number of positive cases, the youth contributed the most percentage of infection with 89%".
Launch of Mumbies Foundation
Mr. Israel Adorbley was grateful to the Member of Parliament for Effutu, Hon Alexander Afenyo who funded research on Hepatitis B prevalence in the Municipality with the outcome of the research giving birth to the Mumbies Foundation Ghana to tackle the situation.
"He has been offering support in financial way as the patron and financier of this wonderful organization. Through His support, 9 innocent babies have been saved from contracting the disease through provision of free HBIG, 4017 people have been offered free screening in Effutu, 994 people offered free Hep B vaccination, 243 positive Hepatitis B patients identified and linked to care," Mr. Adorbley eluded the Deputy Majority.
He again used the platform to call on government to engage National Health Insurance Authority to enroll Hepatitis screening and treatment in the National Health Insurance Scheme for free just like they are currently doing for TB and HIV/AIDs victims.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Commander (Rtd) Kojo Eduafo-Sackey also spoke on the relationship between Hepatitis and HIV/AIDS, indicating that one out of ten people with HIV infection is expected to also have Hepatitis B whilst about one in four HIV carriers also have Hepatitis C.
He stressed that untreated Hepatitis can lead to liver failure and liver cancer. It can damage one's liver more seriously if they have HIV.
"Hepatitis B can be prevented with a safe and effective vaccine. You need to get three shots spread out over the period of six months for full protection. Hepatitis C is highly curable. The new pills for hepatitis C work better than the older injectable drugs and with fewer side effects. The treatment cures Hepatitis C in almost 97% of the cases in about 8 to 12 weeks," he added.
The Municipal Chief Executive for Effutu, Hon. Zubairu Kassim, on his part assured the people and the NGO of his outfit readiness to support activities and projects that are geared towards dealing with Hepatitis and other chronic diseases.
Neenyi Ghartey VII, Paramount Chief of Effutu called for a collaborative effort among stakeholders to make the fight against the disease more proactive.
He emphasised the traditional council commitment to helping to deal with all challenging issues within the municipality with Hepatitis inclusive.
Municipal Hospital Medical Superindent, Dr. Bota urge the public to periodically do checkups and be mindful of their diets.
He was, however, grateful to the MP, Mumbies Foundation Ghana and the Assembly for the collaboration so far and called for more concerted efforts in reducing transmission and infection of the disease.
Mumbies Foundation Ghana is an NGO registered in Ghana that is dedicated to helping break the cycle of mother-to-child transmission of Hepatitis B in rural communities in Effutu and beyond.
The NGO’s vision is to create a Hepatitis B free future for Effutu.