In a recent study, over 240 million people worldwide are infected with Hepatitis B Virus (HBV). This is on a chronic level. It was also estimated that most African countries in the Sub-Saharan region (Kenya included) have Chronic Hepatitis B Infection (CHBI). On a scale of higher intermediate, it is within 5% to 7% and a higher range of over 8%.
Another student performed some pooled analysis and systematic reviews showed that the prevalence of Chronic Hepatitis B Infect of these African countries is about 8.8%.
It was also deduced that from low and middle-income countries with limited hepatitis surveillance, the estimate are mere data from sources with non-national representatives.
Hepatitis B Vaccine Prices in Kenya
Nature of Hepatitis B
The Hepatitis B Virus is an infection that can easily go viral. It attacks the liver – meaning, it can lead to chronic and acute diseases.
So far, it is the most deadly type of viral Hepatitis, and it has spread to become a major global health challenge.
This infection often leads to diseases such as liver cancer and liver cirrhosis. Hepatitis B has been responsible for the annual death of over 781,000 people. This is so serious!
The virus spreads faster through body fluids that are contaminated. Such fluids may include breast milk, genital secretions (either vertical or sexual transmission), and blood.
The virus is highly infectious as there are high viral loads in the blood. The virus is also relatively hard in nature.
So far, it was reported that a large number of adults who are diagnosed with Hepatitis B recovered fully irrespective of the severe signs and symptoms.
On the other hand, children, including infants are more prone to having a chronic Hepatitis B infection. Thanks to the vaccine as it can prevent the virus.
Does Hepatitis B has a cure in Kenya?
As of now, there hasn’t been any curative therapy for Hepatitis B in Kenya. Although, one can prevent the virus can via effective and safe vaccines.
However, the available therapies can help inhibit the virus from replicating. Yet, they must be administered for a long period of time. It is important to note this: the hepatitis B virus survives as long as the immune system of infected people fails to respond.
Again, in other to prevent or manage this virus, foods which have saturated fats (oil-fried foods and fatty meats) must be limited. Raw or undercooked shellfish should also be avoided – they can attract the vibrio vulnificus bacteria. It could lead to several damages and no friends with the liver.
Cost of Hepatitis B Vaccine in Kenya
Let’s now dive into what it costs to get vaccines for Hepatitis B in Kenya.
Before now, the cost of HBV vaccines in Kenya was quite expensive. Over time, the government subsidized the vaccination of the deadly virus to fight it effectively.
Below are some of the available vaccines and their prices:
Hepatitis B EUVAX Paediatric (for children)
This vaccine costs KSh 1,200 per dose. The number of Doses required is three.
The age bracket of those who can take it is within ten years to 15 years.
Hepatitis B EUVAX (for adults)
The number of doses for this vaccine is also three. It was designed for adults who are about 15 years of age.
It costs KSh 1,700 per dose. And the duration of protection is 10 years.
Note that the vaccine prices may differ slightly in the future depending on certain factors.
How Does The Hepatitis B Vaccine Work?
When the patient takes the Hepatitis B vaccine, it works by ingesting the body’s immune systems to form antibodies. These antibodies will protect the immune system by warding off the virus in the body.
The vaccine is usually taken over a while, precisely three times over the period. It’s essential to follow the Hepatitis B vaccine schedule and ensure that you take the complete three dosages. The plan extends to 6 months. The first shot is taken in the first month, the second shot the next month, and the third shot after six months.
The Hepatitis vaccine works effectively and, over the years, has reduced the number of Hepatitis B patients.
Who should receive the vaccine?
It was documented that workers who deal in activities that exposed them to constant physical contact with patients (especially with their body fluids or blood) should be vaccinated.
Also, individuals who may be infected with Hepatitis B or immunes to it can be vaccinated. The only downside is that it could be expensive for individuals who come from a low socioeconomic situation.
Anyone who is actively infected with the virus must undergo thorough investigation and treatment.
The survival rate of people with Hepatitis B Virus
A recent finding estimated that five years is the survival rate of most patients. For 97% of patients who have chronic persistent Hepatitis B, the figure was supported. The same goes for about 85% of patients with chronic active Hepatitis B.
Often, the cause of death was liver failure plus its sequelae.
Research also revealed that the virus (hepatitis B) can survive outside the body for a minimum of seven days. It is capable of causing infections during this period of its survival.
As much as the government of Kenya is exploring different ways to prevent the Hepatitis B Virus, it also works on reducing the cost of the vaccination.