Shaip Africa Foundation, a non profitable entity is organizing a year long hepatitis B free screening exercise for residents in Ellembelle district of the Western region.
The initiative is carried out by the Chief Executive Officer of Shaip Africa Foundation, Mr. Clement Clinton Blay with a team comprising of medical doctors, technicians, physician assistants and nurses drawn from other notable health facilities in the area.
According to Mr. Clement Clinton Blay, at least 2,000 people are targeted for the program but, a little over 300 person’s have undergone screening since 11th December, 2021 due to low patronage.
The free screening exercise sought to provide safe and proper healthcare services to the aged and other vulnerable groups with much focus on women and children in the areas of Essiama, Nkruful, Anyinase and other communities even beyond Ellembelle district to improve on their health.
Participants from notable groups namely, the Association Of Nzema Old Students, the Ghana Association of Dress makers at Essiama, Anyinase youth groups and some aged men and women who benefited from the exercise were diagnosed referred for treatment or vaccination for hepatitis B, among others.
According to Mr. Blay, statistics indicate that the most commonest hepatitis in Ghana and those being screened are infected with Hepatitis B and C, meanwhile, drugs were given to beneficiaries to aid the treatment of the hepatitis diagnosed.
Mr. Clement Clinton Blay who is a Public Health Expert and a Professional Pharmacist told the Media on Thursday, December 23, 2021, in an interview that, he would continue to organize the screening till next year 2022 for old men and women to ensure that the people in Ellembelle district were healthy.
The Pharmacist indicated that, the “key to the managemet” of Hepatitis is to check one’s status of the disease and can reach full potential only when initiated early in the course of the disease.
Hepatitis ‘B’ is an infection of the liver caused by hepatitis ‘B’ virus. It can be acute and resolve without treatment. However, some forms can be chronic and liver cancer, the health expert have said.
Mr. Blay has called for improved funding from the Ghanaian government for hepatitis public health education, testing and treatment services especially making vaccination at birth, free for pregnant women to save the unborn child from contracting the disease.
He noted that despite available diagnostic tools and effective treatment, less of the hepatitis patients are able to buy the Vaccines and afford treatment due to its cost and availability hence affecting the Universal Health Coverage target for 2030.
He cautioned the public and hepatitis patients against unprotected sex, alcoholism and other practices that could endanger the liver by exposing it to the virus or alcohol.
By: Kaakyire Kwasi Afari