Direct policy interventions towards treatment of Hepatitis B needed in Ghana
A Clinical Pharmacist at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Stephen Corquaye has called for the design of policy interventions to aid the treatment of Hepatitis B in Ghana.
Ghana is said to have a Hepatitis B prevalence rate of between 8 and 15 percent, thus placing the country in the bracket of Hepatitis B endemic countries as per the World Health Organization’s [WHO] classification.
Countries that have a Hepatitis B prevalence rate of above 8 percent, according to the WHO, are considered endemic.
Speaking on Multi TV’s current affairs show, PM EXPRESS, Mr. Corquaye noted that even though Hepatitis B is 50 to 100 times more infectious than HIV/AIDS, there are no policy initiatives in place to reduce the cost of treating the condition.
Persons who are diagnosed with the disease will have to spend GH¢400 to undergo an investigation to determine their level of infection.
Hepatitis B is not curable but can be managed with oral medication and injections. The cost of the oral treatment spans between GH¢300 and GH¢400 a month and costs between GH¢300 to GH¢400 a week to take an injection for 48 weeks as a way of managing the condition.
According to Mr. Corquaye, the treatment of the disease in the country is very expensive hence the need to institute certain measures to mitigate the cost to patients.
He noted that countries like the United Kingdom and United States have put in place “strategic policies that target those who are chronic to manage them especially to make sure that the investigations they do which we said are very expensive are taken care of by either health insurance or an insurance company.”
“So constantly there’s a particular strategy or policy that is put in place to make sure that those who are supposed to be prevented from the disease are given the necessary interventions and [for] those who have the disease, there are interventions that have been made to make sure that they are managed properly. So most of the time their prevalence is very low and if we are able to handle that in that manner, we’ll have a situation where we will not go beyond 15% but we’ll come down below 10 and then gradually below 2 percent.” http://bit.ly/opjIOm