Hepatitis b prevention.
“Have you been vaccinated for Hepatitis B? Have you been infected with Hepatitis B before and now immuned to the disease? If you are not sure with your answer, consult your doctor now and be checked for hepatitis B infection,” warns Dr. Jane Campos, Liver and Gastrointestinal Disease Specialist during the general assembly of the Yellow Warriors Society in Quezon City last 18 February 2012.
“Today, there are 16 million Hepatitis B carriers. You may be the next carrier if you will not protect yourself with Hepatitis B vaccination,” said Dr. Campos.
The Philippines is one of the highly endemic areas for Hepatitis B wherein 12% to 16% of the population is infected with the disease. The increasing number of infection is worsened by Hepatitis B carriers that are unaware that they may transfer the disease to family members.
“That is why it is important to visit your doctor and be checked for Hepatitis B. If you are not infected, consider yourself lucky and get hepatitis B vaccination now,” emphasized Dr. Campos.
“If you are aware that you are a Hepatitis B carrier, this is a significant step – to make necessary actions. These include protecting family members against future Hepatitis B infections by consulting with experts about disease screening and undergoing medications or treatments depending on doctor’s assessment to avoid complications such as liver cancer and cirrhosis,” explained Dr. Campos.
“Why put yourself at risk if the disease can be prevented? Remember, prevention is far better than treatment.” Dr. Campos also stressed that there is no complete cure for the disease. Although there are available medicines for treatment, it has no guarantee to cure the disease. Treatments only reduce the progression of the disease by slowing down the virus to prevent further Hepatitis B complications.
“Treatment for hepatitis B is a life-long and tedious experience. Aside from physiological discomfort in undergoing regular medications, the cost of healthcare is also a burden to patients,” added Dr. Campos.
Hepatitis B vaccine, however, will cost only around Php800-1200 pesos per shot. “So get vaccinated now and be protected against the disease.” (Edmon Agron/PCHRD-DOST)
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