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No equipment to detect Hepatitis C – Physician

Author : Hellen Achayo | Published: Friday, September 23, 2016

A physician at the Juba Teaching Hospital says South Sudan has no equipment to accurately detect Hepatitis C.

Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus.

If not treated, it may lead to Liver Cirrhosis, cancer, or liver failure.

Dr Mawien Akot, who is also a consultant physician at the Nile Care Medical Center, says there are two tests that are carried out in order to find whether a person is positive for Hepatitis C.

He says the hospitals in the country only have equipment to do the first test which is usually not accurate, but they cannot test the level of danger of the core virus.

Dr Akot told Eye Radio that the facilities also lack drugs to treat some other types of Hepatitis C.

“The screening test that we do is called the laser. This test does not accurately diagnose the Hepatitis,” he explained.

“So there is what we call false positive results and false negative results. That is where it comes in where we should have some other tests which we don’t have here in South Sudan, and that is a confirmation that you actually have the disease once you have the first test positive.”

“Also the treatment is a challenge because currently in Juba, we have only one drug, that is interferon; but based on the new research, the types of Hepatitis C are many. There are about six of them.”

Hepatitis C can be transmitted through sexual intercourse, sharing sharp objects like needles and from mother to child through breast feeding.

Its symptoms include abdominal pain and jaundice.

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