The recent pandemic affected countries’ healthcare systems and residents on many levels. As the focus of healthcare shifted to managing and testing for coronavirus, other severe epidemics such as Viral Hepatitis fell off the radar.
Implications of Viral Hepatitis in Africa During the Pandemic
With the overwhelming COVID‐19 pandemic in Africa, viral hepatitis was given very low priority. The COVID-19 testing importance took centre stage. Individuals with viral hepatitis were faced with very challenging circumstances, often unable to receive treatment or medication.
Follow‐up plans, routine testing, and treatment plans for viral hepatitis patients were largely unavailable. People sick with viral hepatitis were also hesitant to go to hospitals or clinics for fear of exposure to Covid-19 which left them even more vulnerable to complications with viral hepatitis.
Due to lockdowns:
- Patients could not travel to their appointments for diagnosis or treatment.
- Antiviral medications were in short supply because of flight suspensions which caused interruptions in the treatment
- Many clinics and follow‐up centres were closed temporarily
- Home deliveries for medication were cancelled
This left many patients with viral hepatitis in a life-threatening situation.
Recommendations for Control of Viral Hepatitis in Africa
With the rise of the mortality rate in Africa during the pandemic, more attention was drawn to the failing infrastructure dealing with the viral hepatitis epidemic in Africa. International and local government agencies have collaborated to focus implementing the below recommendations to ensure that they get control of the epidemic and the loss of life due to viral hepatitis decreases dramatically.
Improve the infrastructure to prepare for telemedicine service for viral hepatitis diagnosis, medications, management plans, and follow-up.
Establish a good drug supply chain and home delivery system to ensure patients always receive their medication on time.
Increase the number of volunteers to help distribute medication to rural areas.
Encourage hepatic patients to get the Covid-19 vaccine and make it free and easily accessible to the, em. Also, encourage all people who have not had Hepatitis to get the Hepatitis Vaccine to prevent it.
Who Should Get Tested for COVID-19?
If you think that you’ve been recently exposed to someone Covid-19, it’s a good idea to get tested even if you aren’t showing any symptoms. You should also get tested if you plan on taking a trip and will be flying. You can get your Covid 19 test in Epsom at Miles Pharmacy. Or visit another branch in South London that’s closer to you. Call or schedule your appointment online.