20th September 2021
Make a Donation

Vaccinate newborns against Hepatitis, WHO tells parents

Author: Charles Wote | Published: Thursday, July 29, 2021

Fabian Ndenzako, WHO country director, speaks to reporters in Juba on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 | Credit | Charles Wote/Eye Radio

The World Health Organization has encouraged the public to have their newborns vaccinated against viral hepatitis.

About 20 percent of infants with neonatal hepatitis are infected by a virus that caused the inflammation usually between one and two months after birth, according to John Hopkins University.

More than 1 million people are believed to be living with Hepatitis B and C in South Sudan.

In September 202, 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.

On Wednesday, South Sudan joined the rest of the World to mark World Hepatitis Day under the theme: “Hepatitis can’t wait.”

“Much of the infections for hepatitis B are acquired during the childhood,” Fabian Ndenzako, WHO country director, said at an event in Juba on Wednesday.

The World Health Organization estimates that there are over 325 million people living with hepatitis infection globally.

Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver that causes severe liver disease and hepatocellular cancer.

There are five main strains of the hepatitis virus, referred to as types A, B, C, D, and E.

“So if you can get the vaccine at early stage within 24 hours of birth, then we would have really made a bigger contribution towards preventing viral hepatitis,” he added.

It can be prevented by getting the Hepatitis vaccine, practicing good personal hygiene, and avoiding using an infected person’s items.

World Hepatitis Day is observed each year on July 28th to raise awareness.

This year’s theme conveys the urgent need to eliminate hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030.

Support Eye Radio, the first independent radio broadcaster of news, information & entertainment in South Sudan.

Make a monthly or a one off contribution.