We can’t wait to act on viral hepatitis, this #FrontlineFriday we must commit to bringing hepatitis care closer to primary health facilities and communities.
My Wellbeing Foundation Africa and I are echoing the World Health Organization roadmap towards eliminating all types of hepatitis by #2030 and calling to end mother-to-child transmission of #HBV, which requires immediate action, investment, and the end of stigmatisation and discrimination.
Nigeria has the highest prevalence of #hepatitis in Sub-Saharan Africa and is third globally, with over 20 million Nigerians infected, including an estimated 15% of pregnant women. A silent killer, often going undetected, means there are upwards of millions of more Nigerians who are unaware.
WBFA through its flagship Mamacare360 programme aims to progress the prevention of mother-to-child transmission #PMTCT of hepatitis B and address the systemic barriers of access to essential, equitable, lifesaving care, by providing antenatal and postnatal care, sexual and reproductive health education, safe trusted spaces with our #midwife guidance to tackle topics such as screening, antiviral prophylaxis, infant vaccination, and aim to scale them up for the prevention of perinatal transmission of HBV infection in Nigeria.
Diligently providing this integrated grassroots healthcare on the #frontlines ensures we empower and support mothers and communities to be primary partners in their wellbeing and in the elimination of #hepatitisB. With a person dying every 30 seconds from a hepatitis-related illness, we must act now to accelerate the fight and advocate for the importance of testing, treating and vaccinating.
Immunisation and access to drugs are crucial; we must work together strategically and cooperatively from epidemiological considerations, availability of resources and political prioritisation to support the infrastructure for administration.
Expectant mothers can’t wait for hepatitis screening and treatment, and newborn babies can’t wait for birth dose vaccination.
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