The Ministry of health with support from the government of Egypt has launched a free testing and treatment for Hepatitis C in South Sudan.
Hepatitis C is a viral infection disease that causes liver inflammation and can lead to serious liver damage.
The most common types of hepatitis include, hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E.
Previously, private health facilities in South Sudan had been taking the lead in offering both vaccination and treatment for Hepatitis B and C.
The national Minister of health, Dr. Riek Gai Kok, says the support is part of an Egyptian President’s effort to treat 1 million Africans who are suffering from Hepatitis C.
Dr Gai was speaking at a press conference held in Juba this afternoon.
“President Sisi made a contribution through the AU [African Union] that, Egypt is going to treat 1 million Africans who are suffering from Hepatitis C and good enough also, he directed the ministry of health in Egypt to start this campaign from South Sudan. So the team have arrived and they are now in Juba, they are conducting their testing at the public health laboratory. The treatment for Hepatitis C is now available at Juba teaching hospital but the testing will be done at the public health laboratory.”
The minister went on to appeal to the general public to report any cases of Hepatitis C to the nearby health facility.
“We want you to appeal to all the health facilities public or private, if there is a confirmed case in any of the facility let them report to Juba teaching hospital.”
For his part, the Assistant Professor of Pathology at the University of Juba, Dr. Oromo Francis, said cases of Hepatitis B and C in South Sudan require immediate attention by the stakeholders.
“Hepatitis B is the most prevalence here according to my experience because we run facilities in the private sector that are experiencing huge impact and even fear that Hepatitis is a big problem. So far we have got prevalence which is higher than the WHO criteria and which is a serious issue for us.”
Hepatitis B and C are usually transmitted through exposure to infected blood, infected feces, poor sanitation and unprotected sexual practices.
The common signs and symptoms of acute hepatitis include fatigue, flu-like symptoms, dark urine, pale stool, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite.
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