Sierra Leone for the first time will join rest of the world to observe World Hepatitis Day July, 28th 2014.
This year will be the fourth official World Hepatitis Day to be reorganized by the World Hepatitis Alliance and the World Health Organization on the theme hepatitis “THINK AGAIN”.
“Indeed the National Alliance for Hepatitis Sierra Leone (NAH-SL), believe it is time to think again because viral hepatitis is a highly infectious disease that kills 1.5 million people globally every year, therefore, it of great concern to all. Indeed we most THINK AGAIN!” Says Sallieu Sesay Communications Director NAH-SL.
Pharm Kweku Laurd Mensah Executive Director of NAH-SL in a press conference held at the AWOL Conference on Padama Raod in Freetown, told journalists that World Hepatitis Day is celebrated in a variety of ways across the world. This year, Sierra Leone will be among the countries that will observe the day. This is because hepatitis has been claiming the lives of many people all over the world and Sierra Leone is no exception. He added that the Global Alliance for Hepatitis Report, in 2013, 61% WHO member States observed the day and events took place in 47% of African Region countries.
“Sierra Leone has nascent hepatitis epidemic and there is paucity of research data and public awareness about the infection. National Alliance for Hepatitis Sierra Leone (NAH-SL) was established to give constant and fair approach to the effective prevention and comprehensive management of hepatitis among people and their families in Sierra Leone,” Pharm Mensah revealed.
John Smith the Administrative Officer of NAH-SL explained to the media that NAH-SL has outlined chain of activities to commemorate the day. Some of their major activities include: A press conference in order to inform the media about the WHD; NAH-SL will print posters, flyers and banners as part of their sensitization strategies to inform the public about the day. In addition, NAH-SL has also made arrangement with various radio stations and newspaper as another awareness raising methods to target the masses about viral hepatitis. NAH-SL Admin Officer went on to say, on the 28th July, 2014 NAH-SL and their partners will organized a seminar which will attract discussants from the medical field so that some members of the public, medical students, health workers and people living with the disease will have more information on hepatitis.
Mr. Alieu Kamara Medical Laboratory Scientific Officer at the Government Connaught Hospital told journalists that hepatitis is inflammation of the liver caused by a virus. There are five different hepatitis viruses, hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. All of these viruses cause short term, or acute infection. However, the hepatitis B, C and D viruses can also cause long-term infection, called chronic hepatitis, which can lead to life-threatening complications such as cirrhosis (liver scarring), liver failure, and liver cancer.
In explaining some of the mode of transmission of the viral hepatitis, the Connaught Hospital Laboratory Officer said that one can contract hepatitis through sweat, the use of unsterilized barbing equipment, through sex, tattoo with affected person. He encouraged the media to educate members of the public to go for lab test.
So far NAH-SL partners to observe this year World Hepatitis Include: Ministry of Health and Sanitation, College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS-USL), Pharmaceutical Society of Sierra Leone (PSSL), Sierra Leone Medical and Dental Association (SLMDA), Sierra Leone Pharmaceutical Business Association Limited, NestPhama Limited, Mysierraleoneonline.com, College of Medical Muslim Ja”maat (COMMUJ), Sierra Leone Medical Students Association (SLMSA), National Association of Pharmaceutical Students Sierra Leone (NAPS-SL)/
Interested Partners are warmly welcome to join the Alliance in the fight against Hepatitis.
For more information on Hepatitis check- Website: www.worldhepatitisalliance.org or www.who.int/topics/hepatitis
By Sallieu Sesay: Mysierraleoneonline.com