A national survey intends to discover the extent of hepatitis in the Moroccan population over 5 years old.
By Rahma Ouled Cherif
Rabat – The Ministry of Health has launched its first official survey of hepatitis prevalence in Morocco to assess its extent. Currently, there are no figures for the seroprevalence of viral hepatitis in Morocco.
The survey is being conducted February through April by the health ministry, in collaboration with the WHO, UNICEF, and local authorities. Its main objective is to provide data on hepatitis among the Moroccan population aged 5 years and older.
The survey will cover 13,500 participants belonging to 4,575 households, distributed in all regions of the kingdom.
During the survey, a 17-member team from the Ministry of Health will collect data through blood tests. The investigators will also seek information through a questionnaire on the knowledge of the population and their lifestyle habits that could put them at risk to transmit hepatitis.
Most people with the virus, whether hepatitis B or C, are unaware of their chronic infection. They are, however, at high risk of developing a serious liver complication like cirrhosis and liver cancer and may unknowingly transmit the infection to others.
Hepatitis, which can lead to liver failure, is a global public health problem. The various strains of hepatitis are referred to by their types, A, B, C, D, and E.
While Hepatitis A and E are typically caused by the ingestion of contaminated food or water, Hepatitis B, C, and D usually occur as a result of contact with infected body fluids.
At the end of the survey, the health ministry will release the results of the samples to the participants and provide support for those diagnosed positive.