Renowned hiplife artiste, Okyeame Kwame, has held this year’s edition of his annual Hepatitis B free screening exercise and health walk in Accra to continue creating awareness to curb the spread of the disease.
The event, which was organised by Okyeame Kwame Foundation (OKF) in partnership with MDS-Lancet Laboratory and with support from the Ghana Health Service (GHS), is aimed at creating public awareness about the disease.
The hiplife artiste stated that he embarked on the Hepatitis B screening because he realised that only few individuals, have over the years shown interest to help fight the disease because there is no support in terms of money for the advocacy.
Explaining further Okyeame Kwame said: “So I started the Hepatitis campaign 12 years ago when I heard that one out of every six Ghanaians is exposed to the virus. And I thought it was really alarming. So how can I use my voice as Okyeame Kwame to bring change? I realised that one of the key things I could do was to organize free screening.
I started to organise free screening and it has been 12 years and then the reason why I have been able to sustain it is because MDS- Lancet Laboratory came to do it with me and we have been partners for the past 12 years and every year they provide the free screening.”
The health screening gave participants the opportunity to receive pre-testing and post-test counseling, where a Public Health Practitioner (PHP) spoke to them about Hepatitis B, the need for each individual to test and what to do after knowing their status.
According to him, government through National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) should find a way to lower the cost of drug by listing it among the drugs on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) saying that “for me it will be a big achievement if we are able to do it because Hepatitis treatment is too expensive that is why we talk to people about early detection to make sure that you do not even get there.”
Okyeame Kwame expressed his joy upon seeing the readiness of the people to test and get vaccinated and urged the entire public to continue to stay safe from Hepatitis B.
“We have been fighting Hepatitis, but it is not gone and it is still here so let us still get screened, let us get tested. Yes, we believe in prayers but if you test positive don’t take it to a Pastor or a fetish Priest, go and see a Doctor,” he advised.
There was also a health walk and aerobics for the participants which started at Silver Star Towers, through Airport and Aviation and a return to the Silver Star Towers. This year’s event was on the theme: ‘Bringing Hepatitis care closer to communities – Hep can’t wait’.