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03.03.2006 Health

KNUST chapter of GMSA launches hepatitis 'B' screening


Kumasi, March 3, GNA - The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) branch of the Ghana Muslim Students Association (GMSA) on Friday, launched a month-long hepatitis 'B' screening programme in Kumasi.

The screening would be carried out in four main mosques in the metropolis, namely the Central Mosque at Asawase, the Azariya Mosque at Old Tafo, the Sheik Tawfiq's Mosque at Aboabo Number Two and the Garrison Mosque at Ouadarra Barracks.

It is being sponsored by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and has as its theme, "The Menace of Hepatitis 'B' in Ghana".

In a speech read on his behalf at the launch of the programme, Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, Ashanti Regional Minister, said hepatitis 'B' was more infectious than HIV that causes AIDS.

He said the infectious nature of the virus puts people living with the infected person at risk.

Mr Boafo said the hepatitis 'B' virus is spread, when body fluids such as bloody saliva, semen, vaginal fluids, the breast milk of an infected mother to her child, through sex, infected syringe or wounds. Mr Iddrisu Abdul-Aziz Abef, President of the chapter, said 15 medical students of the association would be engaged in the screening, which was being provided free of charge for both Muslim adults and children in the Muslim communities.

He said the members would also educate the people on HIV/AIDS as well as environmental sanitation and therefore called for massive support from the communities for the programme.

Miss Maryam Yakubu, leader of the medical team and a laboratory technology student, said they would screen for hepatitis 'B' surface antigens.

She said the association decided to undertake the screening for hepatitis virus because many people were unaware of whether they have it or not.

The screening therefore, she said, would encourage people to go for hepatitis 'B' immunization at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH).