Lack of awareness stalling Hepatitis B fight

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Despite these efforts and scale-up of hepatitis control activities in the country, not many people have accessed them due to limited awareness of where to get these services and the stigma associated with being hepatitis B positive.

 This causes anxiety and panic among the health care workers and the general population.

There is also increased drop-out rates for vaccination among those who test negative.

For example; Phase 1; 1st Dose = 91.7%, 2nd Dose = 68.0% and 3rd Dose = 33.0% and Phase 2; 1st Dose= 91.5%, 2nd Dose=58.9% and 3rd Dose=42% and slow uptake of the screening services and vaccination in most districts due to inadequate mobilization and awareness leading to wastage of vaccines.

Victoria University

Lastly, a large number of those who test positive are lost to follow up therefore don’t start antivirals or not regularly monitored leading to deaths due to complications of hepatitis.

A common route of acquisition of HBV is through maternal-to-child transmission (MTCT).

Unfortunately, up to 90% of infants infected via MTCT will go on to develop chronic infection by adulthood.

However, if HBV is detected during pregnancy, effective preventive measures can be undertaken to prevent MTCT.

Despite the current national efforts towards Hepatitis infection control, current efforts don’t seem to address on the predominant mode of transmission which is mother to child transmission yet it is feasible in the already established context of “triple elimination” of HIV, Syphilis and Hepatitis.

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