Hepatitis ‘B’ is not Transmitted during food sharing – Alliance

By thefourlens.com  

Sunyani, May 30, 2024 

The Hepatitis Alliance of Ghana (HAG) says hepatitis B virus can not be transmitted during food  sharing or the preparation of meals.

According to the Alliance, although the hepatitis B virus has been identified in bodily fluids such as saliva, “there is no evidence of transmission of the virus through exposure to these fluids in the absence of blood”. 

“In fact, the hepatitis B virus is not inadvertently transmitted during the majority of life’s daily activities, including the sharing of food or the preparation of meals”.

This was contained in a press release (REJOINDER) signed by Professor Charles Ampong Adjei, the Executive Director, Hepatitis Alliance of Ghana and Associate Professor, University of Ghana Hepatitis Researcher and copied thefourlens.com News on Wednesday.

The rejoinder explained the most common route of hepatitis ‘B’ transmission in African countries, including Ghana, was through infected mother to her child at birth (perinatal transmission) or through horizontal transmission (exposure to infected blood). 

In the rejoinder, “the Hepatitis Alliance of Ghana’s attention has been drawn to a publication by GhanaWeb on 28th May 2024, titled “Eating fufu, Omo tuo, tuo zaafi together from one bowl spreads hepatitis B”, purportedly made by Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa”.

Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa is a Ghanaian pathologist and a politician.

The rejoinder stated the aforementioned publication was false, disinformation and misinformation, with potential to fuel hepatitis B stigma in the country, therefore urged the public to debunk it.

“We are compelled to address the misinformation in the aforementioned publication, which may potentially fuel hepatitis B stigma in our socio-cultural environment”, the rejoinder added.

The rejoinder emphasized “the fact remains that the most common route of hepatitis B transmission in African countries, including Ghana, is from an infected mother to her child at birth (perinatal transmission) or through horizontal transmission (exposure to infected blood)”. 

It stressed “the likelihood of acquiring hepatitis B infection in adulthood is minimal, with evidence showing that only 5% of adults exposed to the hepatitis B virus develop chronic infection”. 

The rejoinder said “as hepatitis community, we are concerned that such a remark by Professor Akosa could potentially reinforce the deeply ingrained misconceptions about the infection and further undermine the ongoing efforts of civil society organisations to address hepatitis B stigma in Ghana”. 

“We would appreciate if Professor Akosa could provide local epidemiological evidence/data to support his statement”, it said.

Thefourlens.com

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Writer’s email: ttchrietoph1@gmail.com

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