The government of South Sudan has not invested sufficiently in Hepatitis eradication programmes, leaving only humanitarian partners in the fight against the viral hepatitis disease, the health minister has said.
More than 1 million people are believed to be living with Hepatitis B and C in South Sudan.
In September last year, the Ministry of Health launched the National Strategic Plan on Viral Hepatitis in South Sudan 2020 – 2024 and Treatment Care for Viral Hepatitis.
The plan aims at eliminating viral hepatitis infections in the country.
But health minister Elizabeth Achuei said not much has been done to fight the disease.
The health minister was speaking on the occasion of World Hepatitis Day in Juba on Wednesday.
According to John Hopkins University, about 20 percent of infants with neonatal hepatitis are infected by a virus that caused inflammation usually between one and two months after birth.
The World Health Organization has urged the government to integrate hepatitis response into the health service program.
This is to design strong hepatitis treatment programmes that will help eliminate the virus in South Sudan.
Dr. Fabian Ndenzako, WHO Country Director in South Sudan said:
Dr. Fabian also called for the strengthening of programs that addresses HIV/AIDS, antenatal care, Tuberculosis among others.
In 2016, the World Health Assembly adopted the Global Health Sector Strategy on viral hepatitis to eliminate hepatitis by 2030.
The assembly recommended the development of data systems to understand the burden of the disease, and preventing viral hepatitis transmission.
WHO is encouraging the public to vaccinate their newly born babies against viral hepatitis.
Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver that causes severe liver disease and hepatocellular cancer.
It can be prevented by getting the Hepatitis vaccine, practicing good personal hygiene, and avoiding using an infected person’s items.
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