A Physician Specialist at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Adwoa Agyei-Nkansah, says the treatment of hepatitis is highly expensive and patients who are suffering from the disease cannot be left alone to foot the bills.
According to Dr. Agyei-Nkansah, the treatment and management of HIV are free and therefore called on government, to place the treatment of hepatitis on the National Health Insurance Scheme.
Viral hepatitis B and C are leading infectious killer ailment that affects 325 million people worldwide, causing about 1.4 million deaths a year.
It is the second major killer infectious disease after tuberculosis, and statistics show that more persons are infected with hepatitis than HIV.
Hepatitis is preventable, treatable and in the case of hepatitis C, curable.
However, over 80% of people living with hepatitis are lacking prevention, testing and treatment services.
Speaking at the launch of a National Guideline for Prevention and Treatment of viral hepatitis, alongside World Hepatitis Day, the Programmes Manager of the National Viral Hepatitis Control Programme, Dr. Emmanuel Dzotsi said the handbook is to assist the health worker in the proper care of hepatitis patients and curb the increase in hepatitis cases.
On the topic, “Invest in Eliminating Hepatitis, the Deputy Minister of Health, Alexander Abban called on corporate bodies and individuals to put in measures to fund the project of eliminating hepatitis.
He noted that the government will put in measure to mobilise funds that will be dedicated to the national hepatitis testing, vaccination and treatment.
World Hepatitis Day, takes places every year on July 28 bringing the world together under a single theme to raise awareness of the global burden of viral hepatitis and to influence real change.