Dr Sealey-Thomas emphasises vaccination to prevent hepatitis

- Advertisement -

Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Rhonda Sealey-Thomas, is urging the general public to take vaccinating themselves against hepatitis seriously. In an interview with OBSERVER media yesterday, she expressed the important role of vaccines in the fight against the disease.
“For hepatitis B one of the key things to prevention is the vaccine, the vaccine is safe. It is given as a part of our programme to children and it is also given to adults but it ensures a good start in not ever being infected with the hepatitis B virus. So, prevention is the best thing because there is no treatment for hepatitis B,” Sealey-Thomas said.
 The medical officialadded that hepatitis B can be transmitted from mother to child and this is another reason she appeals to people to get vaccinated. She said that there are a number of cases of hepatitis that are recorded from time to time though she could not give an exact number at the time of the interview.
She also highlighted the fact that there is no vaccine for hepatitis C but it can be treated with antiviral medication.
Hepatitis B is a severe form of viral hepatitis which causes fever, debility, and jaundice while hepatitis C is a form of viral hepatitis that causes chronic liver disease. Both are transmitted through infected blood.
Dr. Sealey-Thomas’ comments were in response to a call from the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) for Antigua and Barbuda and other Caribbean countries to provide curative treatment for hepatitis to reduce thousands of preventable deaths in the Americas every year.
This call was made in commemoration of World Hepatitis Day which was observed on Saturday July 28.
PAHO exhorted health officials to increase efforts to guarantee timely diagnosis and treatment of the disease which affects the liver. The organisation said that in the Americas, almost four million people live with chronic hepatitis B and little more than seven million live with chronic hepatitis C, leading to more than one hundred and twenty-five thousand deaths each year.
PAHO has acknowledged that despite clear links between chronic hepatitis B and C and potentially fatal diseases such as cirrhosis and liver cancer, there is still not enough being done in the region to ensure prevention, detection and treatment.
During 2015 and 2016, ministers of health from throughout the Americas agreed on a series of actions to reduce the public health burden of hepatitis and eliminate hepatitis as a public health problem by 2030.

- Advertisement -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here