Rap doctor Okyeame Kwame, who doubles as the Facilitator of health advocacy group Black Nurses Association, is pushing for a reduction on import duties on Hepatitis B medicines in order to ease treatment.
The appeal comes as the world marked hepatitis day, Friday, July 28 2017. Currently, there is a 40 percent import duty on the drugs which is impeding treatment.
Health advocacy group Black Nurses Association fears more lives will be lost if the issue is not addressed.
“There’s almost a 40% import duty rate on Hepatitis B medicines and with some of the medication if you have to get you must have like Ghc5000 a month and what type of job do you do that you can afford this, so here prevention is very important, especially with the cost being very expensive.
“It’s necessary to get screened and get vaccinated if you don’t have it and see a doctor and then start working on lifestyle changes and so on,” the musician advised.
In a related development, the new World Health Organisation (WHO) data from 28 countries – representing approximately 70 per cent of the global hepatitis burden – indicate that efforts to eliminate hepatitis are gaining momentum.
Published to coincide with the World Hepatitis Day, the data revealed that nearly all 28 countries have established high-level national hepatitis elimination committees (with plans and targets in place) and more than half have allocated dedicated funding for hepatitis responses.
The new report was made available to newsmen by Tunga Namjilsuren, the Information Manager, WHO Department of HIV and Global Hepatitis Programme, to commemorate the 2017 World Hepatitis Day, on the theme: “Eliminate Hepatitis.”