The Hepatitis B Foundation of Ghana has observed a high rate of Hepatitis B among traders at the Kejetia Market in Kumasi.

Almost 10 percent of over 400 persons screened at the market were infected.

Information on the prevalence, knowledge and attitude towards the Hepatitis B virus infection among the traders also remain low.

Hepatitis B, known as the “secret killer,” is a major threat to health globally.

However, complacency has prevented people from ascertaining their Hepatitis B status.

Many have not experienced any sign or symptom, thus they assume they are healthy.

From 2015 to date, recorded cases of Hepatitis B infection have been high compared to statistics from previous years.

Data from the Hepatitis Foundation of Ghana reveals one out of 10 people is found to be infected with Hepatitis B.

Richard Nii Amo Laryea is Secretary of the Hepatitis Foundation of Ghana.

“Traders who trade in sharp objects or wares that are sharp are at risk. The mode of transmission is contaminated blood and fluid. It’s anything that can spread blood from one person to the other. Hepatitis cannot be transferred through food. But we can get Hepatitis A, D or E through contaminated food and water.  It’s very important we protect ourselves from the Hepatitis B and C especially,” he cautioned.

The Foundation offered free screening for traders at the Kejetia Market.

Of the 410 traders screened, 33 were found to be infected with the Hepatitis B disease.

The Foundation says this is the highest number they have ever recorded in a market sensitization programme, compared to the nationwide 1:10 rate of infection.

The Foundation fears the impact it may have on families.

“The traders working here, I know they have families back home. Imagine an infected person goes home and transfers to his family members. It will be a burden. It is important they protect themselves in their working environment, which is this market,” he advised.

Among the traders, there is a general low level of knowledge and poor attitude towards the infection.

The Hepatitis Foundation of Ghana promises to intensify free market vaccination and sensitization programmes.