The Medical Doctor at Somacas Medical Centre, Dr. Asomma Kubire says quack doctors, pastors and superstition is affecting the campaign against hepatitis B vaccinations in Ghana most especially in the Nkwanta North District of the Oti Region.
Dr Asomma Kubire was speaking at a screening exercise organized by Somacas Medical Centre in Kpassa. The exercise according to the organisers is meant to also commemorate this year’s World Hepatitis B-day, which is celebrated worldwide on July 28.
The Doctor has expressed worry over the mother-to-child transmission of Hepatitis B which is on the ascendency in Nkwanta North District.
The event started with a health walk through some principal streets of Kpassa to create awareness of the disease.
He urged the general public to visit the nearest hospital for medical attention and advice before any attempt and also endeavour to take the vaccines to protect themselves against the disease.
Dr Asomma Kubire was worried over the lack of support from the government towards fighting this disease and called for more support from decision-makers, institutions, donors to help achieve the WHO viral hepatitis elimination target by 2030.
He suggested government should include the screening, vaccination and treatment of hepatitis B to the National health insurance scheme (NHIS)
Some residents who benefited from the screening and vaccination exercise as they identified their status being positive/negative thanked the management of Medical Centre and pledged to spread the awareness creation information to others who couldn’t attend the screening including those who don’t believe in reality of the virus.
Why get vaccinated?
Hepatitis B vaccine can prevent hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is a liver disease that can cause mild illness lasting a few weeks, or it can lead to a serious, lifelong illness.
Acute hepatitis B infection is a short-term illness that can lead to fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, jaundice (yellow skin or eyes, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements), and pain in the muscles, joints, and stomach.
Chronic hepatitis B infection is a long-term illness that occurs when the hepatitis B virus remains in a person’s body. Most people who go on to develop chronic hepatitis B do not have symptoms, but it is still very serious and can lead to liver damage (cirrhosis), liver cancer, and death. Chronically infected people can spread hepatitis B virus to others, even if they do not feel or look sick themselves.
Hepatitis B is spread when blood, semen, or other body fluid infected with the hepatitis B virus enters the body of a person who is not infected. People can become infected through:
Birth (if a pregnant person has hepatitis B, their baby can become infected)
Sharing items such as razors or toothbrushes with an infected person
Contact with the blood or open sores of an infected person
Sex with an infected partner
Sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment
Exposure to blood from needlesticks or other sharp instruments
Most people who are vaccinated with hepatitis B vaccine are immune for life.
Hepatitis B vaccine
Hepatitis B vaccine is usually given as 2, 3, or 4 shots.
Infants should get their first dose of hepatitis B vaccine at birth and will usually complete the series at 6–18 months of age.
The birth dose of hepatitis B vaccine is an important part of preventing long-term illness in infants and the spread of hepatitis B in the United States.
Children and adolescents younger than 19 years of age who have not yet gotten the vaccine should be vaccinated.
Adults who were not vaccinated previously and want to be protected against hepatitis B can also get the vaccine.
Hepatitis B vaccine is also recommended for the following people:
People whose sex partners have hepatitis B
Sexually active persons who are not in a long-term, monogamous relationship
People seeking evaluation or treatment for a sexually transmitted disease
Victims of sexual assault or abuse
Men who have sexual contact with other men
People who share needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment
People who live with someone infected with the hepatitis B virus
Health care and public safety workers at risk for exposure to blood or body fluids
Residents and staff of facilities for developmentally disabled people
People living in jail or prison
Travelers to regions with increased rates of hepatitis B
People with chronic liver disease, kidney disease on dialysis, HIV infection, infection with hepatitis C, or diabetes
Hepatitis B vaccine may be given as a stand-alone vaccine, or as part of a combination vaccine (a type of vaccine that combines more than one vaccine together into one shot).
Hepatitis B vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines.
Finally, nurses at the hospital call on residents to take their health care serious as screening and testing continues