World Hepatitis Day on 28 July will probably go by unnoticed this year. Who is worried about a little bit of Hep when there is a global pandemic? Well, we all should be, according to the experts.
Parents are avoiding clinics, and are not sticking to their appointments or their schedules, in fear of contracting the COVID-19 virus. Yet, they are unaware of the very real risk of their children catching other diseases that have been known for decades, if not centuries.
Numerous publications, such as the Sunday Times, Business Today and the Sowetan, have all published articles this week about the detrimental effect of lowered immunisation numbers.
One of these publications in particular, stated that there is an estimated number of 18 000 South African children that could be affected, from the various diseases that present in childhood, due to the lack of vaccination.
Another statement was made by Lancet, stated that for every single potential Covid-19 death that may come as a result from visiting a clinic, 84 deaths would be prevented in children under the age of five years, due to immunisation.
Hepatitis happens to be one of the diseases that you can have your child vaccinated against.
Mopani Pharmacy consulted one of our Homegrown Babies Clinic Sisters, Sr. Rentia, on hepatitis.
“There are five types of infectious Hepatitis; A, B, C, D and E. They are all caused by viruses”, Sr Rentia explained, “You can contract a non-infectious Hepatitis by consuming large amounts of alcohol. This presents itself as liver damage. Alternatively, some develop an auto-immune hepatitis as a systemic response. This is more common in women than in men”, she concluded.
“This is always an acute, short term illness. It spread through ingestion of faecal contaminated water. Your skin and the whites or your eye balls will turn yellow; you will experience fatigue, flu-like symptoms, dark urine, pale stools and abdominal pain,” she explained.
Good news! This is a very preventable disease, as vaccines can be given to children from the age of one year old, and up!
Hepatitis B and D
“Hep B is usually on-going and chronic. It spreads through infectious bodily fluids. Hepatitis D is known as the ‘Delta’ hepatitis. It spreads through direct contact with infected blood. For some reason, one can only get Hep D, in conjunction with Hep B.”
For this reason, when you vaccinate against Hep B, you are indirectly protecting against Hep D as well. This vaccine is also formulated to be suitable for both children and adults.
“Hep C is usually chronic and on-going. It is spread through direct contact with infectious body fluids.”
Unfortunately, there is no vaccine against this virus, although it was reported in 2019 on Healthline, that there is a promising study in with regards to Hepatitis C and the HIV virus.
“This is an acute infection, dangerous to pregnant women. It is a waterborne disease and is spread through ingestion of faecal contaminated water.”
“Hep A and B are the most common, especially in places where immunisation schedules are not followed and poor hygienic conditions exist. If you plan on travelling, always get the necessary vaccinations done. Avoid ice and local water in other countries, and always make sure to clean raw fruit and vegetables before consumption. Wash hands properly with soap and water after using bathrooms,” Sr Rentia concluded.
At Mopani Pharmacy, protocols are followed to the letter to ensure that our customers and staff are protected as much as possible. You can visit the Mopani Pharmacy Homegrown Babies Clinic to ensure that your child is up to date with their vaccination schedule in line with available Hepatitis vaccines.
We can deliver your medicine and other Mopani online shopping, nationwide! Contact us for info: mopani.co.za | email@example.com | Tel: 013 755 5500 | WhatsApp: 066-192-1703
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