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South Sudanese are facing increased rate of hepatitis disease infection in the country

Yei civil hospital is registering increase on cases of patients suffering from hepatitis in the county.

Hepatitis is the term used to describe inflammation of the liver. It’s usually the result of a viral infection or liver damage caused by hepatitis virus

There are several different types of hepatitis which are categorized as A, B C D and E all these types have mild to severe consequence in the body.

A clinical officer at Yei civil hospital Justos Yuosa revealed that last month six cases of hepatitis B virus were confirmed at the health facility.

He adds that another two cases of hepatitis were also confirmed at a later date within the same period which is very alarming.

The clinical officer advises the entire population to prioritize testing in order to know whether one has hepatitis or not.

Hepatitis is becoming a serious threat to our communities. Imagine if within a period of one to two months we can confirm a number more than five then we are in danger. For the last two months, we tested and confirmed atleat eight cases of hepatitis and this is a serious concern to us medics. I call upon the public to ensure that they are tested in order to know their status and protect others from the infection,” Justos appeals to the public.

The clinician explains that the different types of hepatitis are spread through different methods.

Mr. Yuosa stresses that Hepatitis A is caused by the hepatitis A virus. It’s usually caught by consuming contaminated food and drink and the other types is transmitted through body fluids and sometimes sexual intercourse with an infected person.

The health official explains that the most common type of hepatitis in the country is hepatitis A, B and C.

A group of young people shared their experience about the prevalence of the disease in their communities.

One of the young person who preferred to be called Isaac said “There are about two to three people who have died from hepatitis in their area, they developed stomach problems and their eyes were yellow.

 Another person said, “Hepatitis is real in the communities, so some people have hepatitis, and some people don’t know that they have hepatitis, its important to go for a check-up then, the person can know whether he/she has hepatitis”, the young female explains.

A medical doctor Joseph Mawien at Giada hospital in Juba explains how dangerous the disease can be if a person gets infected.

If the virus enters the body it will go to the liver and destroy it and yet the liver helps a lot. The liver has a lot of functions in human body because the liver is responsible for the digestion system and also the vitamin in the body is made in the liver. When your liver has a problem, vitamins will be less in the body, later you will see the body is swelling and the eyes get yellow in color and the feet swell and get full of water and also the stomach, for others it will affect the brain causing a person to be delirious and later may lead to death,” he reiterates.

However, the medical doctor mentions that there are ways that people can prevent themselves from getting the virus.

The doctor explains that carrying out awareness in the community about hepatitis disease could automatically help people to protect themselves from getting infected.

People could get vaccinated there are 3 doses of vaccinations you could get one today and the second one after a month and the third one after 6 months. This is one of the means to protect yourself from hepatitis. Also, avoid unprotected sex because this disease can be transmitted through sex. Do not not share pins/sharp objects so as to prevent the transmission of this disease. pregnant woman who have hepatitis after 12 hours of delivery are to be given hepatitis hemoglobin and hepatitis B vaccine in order to help the baby not to get the disease. Always boil your drinking the water and wash when it gets cold you can drink. Always wash the vegetables very well so that you do not get infected with hepatitis A”, doctor Joseph stresses.    

Doctor Joseph explains that if a person has hepatitis, while in its early stage it can be treatable, but if the virus reached an acute stage it may lead to cancer or death.

Hepatitis can stay in the body and show no symptoms. Every person should go to the hospital for a general check-up. If you test positive for type A and type C during the primary stage, you will heal on your own. but if it reaches the stage where your liver is damaged, that is the late stage and there is nothing that can be done. So it is important for one to go for blood screening before the virus spread through out the body. Especially hepatitis C and B, you can survive for 15 years. Another person can live for 50 years. Your life can exist only when your liver is not damaged. if the liver is damaged, that is terrible and can lead to cancer, which has no cure, only death.

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