Health News of Monday, 30 July 2012

Source: GNA

Cover screening of hepatitis under NHIS – NGO

Mr. Damasus Suglo, Director of Comfort Foundation Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), has appealed to the Government to cover the screening of hepatitis under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

He said because hepatitis is not covered by the NHIS, most people are unable able to bear the average cost of screening which is about GH¢60.

Mr. Suglo made the appeal at an education forum organized for selected senior high schools to mark the World Hepatitis Day in Tamale of the Northern Region. The schools are Vitin Senior High School, Tamale Girls’ Senior High School, St. Charles Senior High School and Kalpohin Senior High School.

On 28 July every year, people around the world, jointly mark World Hepatitis Day, to raise awareness on Hepatitis.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Hepatitis as an inflammation of the liver, most commonly caused by a viral infection.

There are different types of hepatitis, categorized as Hepatitis A, B, and C. Mr. Suglo said about one million people die annually while millions more suffer immediate sickness or long-term ill health.

He said the infection rate, which is high among the youth, would reduce if the NHIS caters for the vaccination, which builds resistance in the body to prevent the disease.

The causes of hepatitis include sexual contact with infected persons, sharing of needles with infected persons, work-related exposure, body piercings and tattoos and transmission from mother to child during birth.

An acute infection of hepatitis may occur with limited or no symptoms, or may include symptoms such as jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), dark urine, extreme fatigue, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

Some of the students the Ghana News Agency spoke to said they had learned a lot about the disease and would educate their colleagues on the need to know their status.

As part of the celebration, a quiz competition and football gala was organized for four schools.**