As Uganda joined the rest of the world to mark World Hepatitis Day, Patient Activist Kenneth Kabagambe said government needs to focus on linking patients to care as both Hepatitis B and C are becoming more prevalent. But, the real prevalence rate of C remains unknown as no survey has been done yet.
have been urged to test for hepatitis C as the disease is equally as dangerous as
other infectious diseases, according to Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng.
joined the rest of the world to mark world hepatitis day, the Minister said
soon the government in their plan to completely eliminate the viral infection
will start campaigns to call upon people to test and know their status. Then
she said those who test positive will be linked to care.
Patients’ Activist and Person living with Hepatitis B Kenneth Kabagambe had
earlier on Sunday told URN that while government is putting emphasis on screening,
there is little being done in terms of making it possible to access treatment. He
worries that there is limited funding for hepatitis even as it’s worse than HIV
which has over the years been the target for funding.
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the issue of treatment, Dr. Charles Olaro, the Director Clinical Services at
the Ministry of Health told URN that unlike HIV where if tested positive one
has to be enrolled on treatment immediately, for hepatitis, not everyone needs
treatment even when they test positive.
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noted that they are planning to introduce a programme through which those that
require treatment will be immediately linked to care. Initially he said they
will first capture women who are seeking antenatal who will compulsorily be
tested for both Hepatitis B and C.
they are testing adolescents in high risk areas of Eastern Uganda for hepatitis B. Dr. Jackson Amone, the Commissioner Curative Services at Ministry of Health says they started off with Northern and West Nile region.
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prevalence of Viral Hepatitis C in the country is unknown since no survey has
been recently done but data from the National Blood Bank indicates that the
prevalence of Hepatitis C among blood donors in Uganda is approximately 1.5%.
it comes to hepatitis B, Uganda Population-based HIV Impact Assessment survey,
(UPHIA, 2016) showed prevalence of Viral Hepatitis B to be at 4.1% in the
population aged 15-64 years. Prevalence varies from region to region with the
highest prevalence in the North at 4.6% and the lowest in Southwest at 0.8%.
suffer from hepatitis end up developing liver cancer or cirrhosis.