A Valuable Tool Against Chronic Hepatitis B Goes Unused in Many Developing Countries
A critical tool that stops the spread of nearly half of all new chronic hepatitis B infections is still unavailable in many developing countries – the hepatitis B vaccine birth dose.
When the hepatitis B vaccine is immediately administered to a baby born to a hepatitis B-infected mother, it stops the terrible spread of hepatitis B to a new generation.
But this vaccine remains unavailable and financially out-of-reach for many parents in rural areas of Africa, Asia and other regions.
“In Ghana, even if parents know where to find the vaccine, the cost sometimes deters them from accessing it,” said Theobald Owusu-Ansah of the Hepatitis B Foundation of Ghana. “And when midwives help mothers deliver their babies in their homes, they do not have the vaccine with them because it must be refrigerated.”