Hepatitis is a silent killer- Gastroenterologist 

Hepatitis
Dr. Amoako Duah.

Story by: Lilian Owusu-Mensah

A gastroenterologist at the University of Ghana Medical Centre, Dr. Amoako Duah, has described hepatitis as a silent condition that could be fatal. 

According to him, this is because it is difficult to tell if someone’s liver cells are breaking down. 

“For you to say someone has hepatitis will be difficult to tell because it’s a silent condition. So if you want to wait to see or feel something in your body before you go to the hospital, it will be too late. So the point that you will get to know that you have viral hepatitis means that your liver cells are no longer functioning or cancer has developed in your liver. Then you will begin to experience symptoms of liver failure and liver cancer. And by that time, it will be too late.”  

Speaking on GTV’s breakfast show as part of activities to mark World Hepatitis Day, Dr. Duah advised people to be concerned and constantly check their hepatitis status. 

“Once you are born, you should be concerned, especially since we find ourselves in an endemic country. That means that the prevalence is more than 8. Ghana’s hepatitis B prevalence is between 8 and 12 percent of the population. For hepatitis C, it’s 3.3 percent. That means that once you find yourself in this country, you should be concerned about viral hepatitis,he stated on Wednesday, July 27.

He explained that hepatitis is transmitted through blood-to-blood contact, adding that, other routes are through wounds, semen, and vaginal fluids. 

He also added that when detected early, treatment for viral hepatitis is available to prevent liver failure and liver cancer. 

“The best way of prevention is vaccination. Don’t share sharp objects with others, and make sure you have safe sex.”

July 28 every year has been set aside as World Hepatitis Day by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to create awareness and update citizens of the world on the progress as well as the current challenges of the disease .

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