BY MUGENDI KANGICHU
Embu County Health Executive Dr. Joan Mwende has called for help from charity organizations as the administration grapples with Hepatitis B prevalence.
Mwende said is transmitted through sexual intercourse, or when a person comes into contact with open sores and blood of someone who has the hepatitis B virus.
She revealed that the Embu Level 5 hospital had exhausted resources, including the jabs, due to the fact that it was a referral hospital serving a number of neighboring counties.
“The vaccine that we have is not enough so we are requesting assistance in order to successfully accomplish our mission of reducing prevalence,” she said.
Hepatitis B is an infection of a liver and can cause scarring of the organ, liver failure, and cancer.
Mwende said several cases had been reported from different parts of the County prompting the call for “It is can cause death within a very short time. In one month, we have recorded four cases in this county so it is important we take preventive measures.”
We also advise locals to get a jab against it because it can be fatal if it isn’t treated, she said.
Mwende spoke when Embu Level 5 hospital through the help of personnel from Moving Mountain Charity Organization administered jabs against hepatitis B to 360 workers.
She said they began with casuals and cleaners since they were at the risk of contracting the disease in their line of duty.
She said each dose costs Sh1, 500 but they were administering it for free to the workers and those who cannot afford it.
“The first injection is administered after one is analyzed and found to be free from the virus. The second injection follows after a month and the final one is administered after six months,” said Gilbert Njeru, the chairman of the charity.
Mwende noted those who are immunized against hepatitis B, are immune for the rest of their life, the reason why as many people as possible should benefit.
Details found on the Hepatitis B Foundation website indicate that in the world, about 884, 000 people die each year from hepatitis B and related complications such as liver cancer translating to about two deaths per minute.
Reports say that hepatitis B is a global public health threat and the world’s most common liver infection. “It is up to 100 times more infectious than the HIV/AIDS virus,” a section of the report reads.
Hepatitis B virus can also be transmitted from mother to child during birth. Other ways of transmission are needle-stick injuries, tattooing, piercing, and exposure to infected blood.
World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that most people do not experience any symptoms when newly infected.
“However, some people have acute illness with symptoms that several weeks, including yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), dark urine, extreme fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain,” a section of the report reads.