Current Date:

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Should the Hepatitis B Virus Status of Health Care Workers in Sudan be Known?

Khartoum - This was the debate initiated by Gastroenterologists at the 3rd Gastroenterology Week held by Sudanese Society of Gastroenterology (SSG) in collaboration with

World Gastroenterology Organization. This was part of the conference held at Rotana hotel 13-14 January’17. Most of the doctors attending the conference were in favour of declaring their Hepatitis B Viral status but some opined that this was a sensitive issue. The question is that when a Health Care Worker is found to be positive, will it remain confidential and will he or she be allowed to continue work? Health Care Workers are not only Doctors but Nurses, Technicians, Cleaners who deal with patients. It is sad that Health Care Workers who treat patients have 30% chance of Hepatitis B Viral infection from needle stick injury. Highest virus concentration is in blood, serum, wound exudates, semen, vaginal fluids and saliva. Hepatitis B Virus can survive for 7 days in 25* C in dried blood. Like in UK, can Sudan have a system where the Health Care Workers declare their Hepatitis status? Medical students at the start of their career should be informed and vaccination given to whoever is Hepatitis B Virus negative. A committee comprising all leading Gastroenterologists has been formed, with Dr. Nada  Zakaria as the initiator, who will submit a draft proposal to the Sudanese Medical Council. The two-day conference covered other topics like Liver Transplantation, Endoscopy, Updates in Gastroenterology, Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Pancreas and related diseases. Speakers came from Belgium, Germany, India, Egypt and number of Sudanese doctors from UK.