Alarm over increased cases of Hepatitis B in Nyanza

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Village Elder
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Medical officials are raising alarm over the prevalence of Hepatitis B in blood collected from donors in Nyanza region.

Director of Medical Services Jackson Kioko said at least three people in every 100 of blood samples tested positive for the viral disease, an indication that many people are not observing required hygienic standards.

The official said medical experts have been analysing blood collected from donors in the area and discovered a near-certain appearance of traces of Hepatitis B infection.

According to the World Health Organisation the disease is caused by a virus and often attacks the liver, resulting in nearly 887,000 deaths globally per year.

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It is spread through contact with infected blood or other bodily fluids. Sometimes a mother can infect the new born, children can infect one another or it can be spread through sexual intercourse with infected people.

“When you start showing symptoms such as abdominal pain on the right side, it means the liver is being affected. These are things we need to educate the public about to ensure they have their blood checked,” said Dr Kioko.

Meanwhile, the national government says it will spend Sh200 million to improve equipment in blood transfusion centres across the country.

Director of Medical Services Jackson Kioko said the money will be used to buy digital blood grouping machines to hasten sorting of the blood samples.

He was speaking when he toured the blood transfusion Centre in Kisumu where commissioned a digital blood grouping machine.

He is currently visiting the eight regional blood transfusion centers across the country to assess the status of the facilities. There are other 50 satellite cites in the country. He has visited Nakuru, Kericho, Kisii Kisumu and Eldoret.
 

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