Over 200 vaccinated against Hepatitis B in Wa communities

More than 200 people have been vaccinated against Hepatitis B in the last 10 months in six communities in the Wa Municipality and the Wa East District of the Upper West Region.

These included Hepatitis B birth dose for about 56 babies born to mothers who had tested positive for hepatitis within the first 72 hours after birth to prevent the babies from getting infected by their mothers.

The vaccination was conducted by Drive for Health Foundation, a Tamale-based NGO.

The beneficiary communities included Konkomuni, Piisi, the Wa Municipal; Yaro, Bulenga and Gudayir of Wa East District.

Ms Racheal Laaso, Regional Coordinator for the Foundation, made this known on Wednesday when she led her team to visit the office of the Regional Director for Health Services, Dr Damien Punguyire, to commend him for his support for the programme.

The programme, dubbed ‘Prevention of mother to child transmission of hepatitis (PMTCT-Hep B),’which commenced last year, seeks to among other things encourage clients to seek early treatment at the hospital.

The coordinator who lauded the support of the health director for the programme also used the opportunity to update him on the successes chalked so far.

Ms Laaso said the organisation had intensified education on the disease and was also offering free screening and counselling to the public, particularly pregnant women and lactating mothers, following limited knowledge among the public on the disease.

“We are liaising with the bigger hospitals in the region to help us sensitise, screen and counsel our target beneficiaries,” she stated.

She said they had successfully sensitised a good number of people to understand that certain conditions, such as sudden swelling of the feet and certain parts of the body which were mostly tagged as spiritual, could be attributed to hepatitis and was relevant to run medical tests.

Ms Laaso added that some women were unable to purchase the immune globulin for their babies even when they had tested positive, and that the Foundation had reduced the prices of vaccination and medication for the management of the condition to ensure that people were able to access them.

She stated that anyone exposed to blood and blood products was at risk of getting infected if they had cuts on their body, and encouraged the public to be very cautious in that regard.

For his part, Dr Punguyire commended the foundation for the interventions and appealed for scaling up of their services to cover many more people.

He urged the public to collaborate with the organisation as well as other health providers with similar agenda to get screened and vaccinated against the disease.

Ms Laaso led her team to present a citation to Dr Punguyire on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation, Mr Damasus Suglo.

FROM LYDIA DARLINGTON FORDJOUR, WA

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