We can Eliminate Hepatitis UHAS Vice Chancellor Prof. Lydia Aziato
Professor Lydia Aziato, Head of the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS), underscores the promising strides toward eliminating Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, accentuating the role of effective vaccines and treatments.
Raising Awareness and Accessibility for Effective Elimination
Acknowledging the attainable elimination of hepatitis, Professor Aziato emphasizes the critical need for heightened awareness, understanding of the diseases, associated risks, and enhanced affordability of diagnostic and treatment options.
World Hepatitis Day Commemoration in Ho
Marking World Hepatitis Day, a significant event in Ho, Professor Aziato delivered her insights.
The commemoration, jointly organized by the Ho Teaching Hospital (HTH) and the Ghana Association for the Study of Liver and Digestive Diseases (GASLIDD), revolved around the theme “One Life, One Liver.”
Global Strategies and Urgent Action
With viral hepatitis included in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the recent global hepatitis strategy, Professor Aziato emphasizes the pivotal moment. Urgent action is necessary to prevent rising fatalities and curb the escalating epidemic.
Bridging Gaps and Strengthening Prevention
Addressing vaccine coverage gaps and preventive measures, Professor Aziato highlights the potential for vaccines and other strategies, including safe injections, blood transfusions, harm reduction, and effective therapies for Hepatitis B and C, to reduce cases and deaths.
Shifting Priorities Post-COVID-19
With COVID-19’s diminished global impact, Professor Aziato advocates prioritizing a hepatitis-free world and striving toward the 2030 global targets for elimination.
Childhood Success: A Glimpse of Progress
Noting the success in reducing Hepatitis B infections among children, Professor Aziato highlights this achievement as evidence of attainable progress.
Urgent Steps for Primary Care Services
Professor Aziato stresses the urgency of streamlined primary care services for viral hepatitis, aiming to achieve a 90 percent diagnosis rate for individuals with hepatitis B and C.
Comprehensive Care for Pregnant Women and Newborns
Advocating for comprehensive care, Professor Aziato calls for treatment access for pregnant women with chronic hepatitis B and birth vaccines to prevent transmission to their infants.
Striving for Treatment Equality
Strategic measures are essential to ensure 80 percent of diagnosed individuals receive treatment or a cure according to newly expanded eligibility criteria.
WHO’s 2030 Vision for Hepatitis Elimination
Professor Yaw Asante Awuku, GASLIDD President, sheds light on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) goal of hepatitis elimination by 2030, underscoring the significance of collective efforts.
Screening Efforts and Vaccination Progress
In a joint initiative by HTH and GASLIDD, 930 participants were screened, revealing 10 percent with Hepatitis and 2 percent with Hepatitis C. Professor Awuku also highlights the vaccination of 600 individuals against the hepatitis virus.