So early this year, my team and I decided to do a social experiment by word of mouth interviewing some selected nine (9) schools in Santa Maria, Accra-Ghana.
This was to determine if students had successfully gone through the three shots of Hepatitis B vaccination as recommended by World Health Organization (WHO).
Quite surprisingly, most of the answers we had was not in the affirmative. In as much as this statistics cannot be used as a point of generalisation, I have this ardent belief that, this record is no different from lots of schools.
Quite recently, when my niece had a new boyfriend; she decided theyâ€™d both run some tests at the Hospital Laboratory to determine the susceptibility of either of them being infected with Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) and many others.
This received much scorning from family and friends as they found it unfit if either of them have decided to abstain from sex. My religious fundamentalist would say no different. I was glad; I found this rather as a precautionary measure since most young adults (couples) actually consummate their marriage before officiating it.
I guess she was vindicated when the test revealed our new boyfriend, Kwabena, had an active infection of Hepatitis B and she on the other was susceptible, because she had no immunity to Hepatitis B.
This basically means, when there is excahange of body fluids, Akosua could contract the Hepatitis B virus from Kwabena.
Successfully, Kwabena had his HBV DNA assayed, was referred to an intensive care unit, put on some drugs and had the virus cleared. This was quite expensive though, considering that Government does not cover Hepatitis care.
My niece on the other hand had her vaccination and yes, decided to stay with Kwabena.
Scientists have however identified five unique hepatitis virus.
About a year ago, one Akosuaâ€™s dad was diagnosed of Hepatitis.
Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver.
He had been experiencing some symptoms pertaining to that:
It was however surprising that, despite various sexual relations he has had; all his sexual partners had not contracted â€˜the Hepatitis.â€™ Akosuaâ€™s dad had been a chronic alcoholic for more than twenty five years. This kind of hepatitis cannot be transmitted from one person to another (non-contagious).
Heavy alcohol use, toxins, some medications, and certain medical conditions can cause hepatitis but are not contagious.
Now many of us might have stories which resonates with the above.
Letâ€™s have this cliche in mind that;
â€œno man is an island, weâ€™re all a part of the continent and obviously interconnectedâ€
Therefore our interconnectivity and relations with one another makes us susceptible and vulnerable. Hence we owe ourselves a responsibility to ensure our safety as well as that of others. In a world where we come in contact with infected blood or body fluids of friends or family members, where we or our relations use needles to take recreational drugs, where we or our relations have sex with more than one person; and as people that work in a health care facility, day care center, school, or jail; we are left with no option than to play it safe.
Your medical story teller,
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