, NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 12 – The World Hepatitis Day will be marked on 28th of this month with the aim of raising awareness on Hepatitis C which is has been a silent epidemic and is now a major concern in the health sector globally.
According to the World Health Organization at least 71 million people worldwide are living with the viral disease which affects the liver with fatal consequences if not treated.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1.34 million deaths were recorded in 2015 worldwide which were as a result of Hepatitis virus.
Kenya is no exception when it comes to this epidemic since It is estimated that more than 300,000 people are infected annually, according to the National Aids and STI’s Control Program (NASCOP), the disease is manageable if treated in time.
Mombasa recorded the highest number of cases this year followed by Nairobi.
Some of the symptoms of the Hepatitis C virus include; nausea, vomiting, fever, joint pains, loss of appetite, abdominal pains, and jaundice.
Unlike Hepatitis B which requires lifelong treatment, Hepatitis C can be treated within a period of two to three months.
Makau Mbiu who is a beneficiary of the government treatment and recovering from Hepatitis C had this to share.
“I used to abuse heroine before I was diagnosed with Hepatitis C now I have finished my treatment. Going to the hospital everyday to take pills requires a lot of commitment initially it was very scary but am now happy.”
According to Abigael Lukhwaro people who are at risk of being infected with Hepatitis C include commercial sex workers, people who inject themselves with drugs, people on dialysis, people who receive blood regularly and people who practice unprotected sex.
The Ministry of Health through NASCOP, has therefore urged all Kenyans to take the necessary precautions and ensure that they get screened because the government is providing treatment for the same.