DOH rolls out Hepatitis B testing nationwide
The Department of Health (DOH) has rolled out a nationwide testing program for Hepatitis B to prevent the disease from further spreading among Filipino children.
DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III on Friday bared the agency’s National Hepatitis B Sero-prevalence Survey that would be conducted in 25 provinces across the country.
The project would have support from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization (WHO), Duque said.
In the nationwide testing program, Duque said survey teams would go to randomly-selected households, and request for parents’ consent to participate in the activity.
“Around 3,000 children, aged five to six years old, will be tested for hepatitis B in the survey. DOH partnered with the Field Epidemiology Training Program Alumni Foundation, Inc., in deploying survey teams to 25 provinces,” Duque said in a statement.
“We appeal to parents or caregivers to allow their child, if he/she is selected, to be tested. Our survey teams have been trained to observe confidentiality in obtaining information,” the DOH chief stressed.
Duque, citing data from the WHO, said that around 8.5 Million Filipinos were chronically infected with the hepatitis B virus.
“However, the number of children affected by hepatitis B, an infectious liver disease, is unknown. Hepatitis B infection can lead to liver cirrhosis, liver cancer and premature death,” Duque said.
A small amount of blood will be drawn and tested for hepatitis B from the eligible child, he added.
“The concerted efforts of the community, along with its local government leaders, will ensure the successful conduct of the survey,” Duque stressed. /vvp
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.