Doctor Innocent Nkonwa the Luweero District Health Officer says the district has received 20,750 doses for hepatitis B vaccines for start and health workers have been trained to conduct the routine vaccination.
The Ministry of Health has rolled out free screening and vaccination
against hepatitis B in central Uganda.
In the past, local leaders and Members of Parliament from Central Uganda have
repeatedly petitioned the Ministry of Health demanding for free vaccination
against the virus citing prohibitive costs and fake vaccines administered by
private health workers.
They argued that the districts have registered a high number of Hepatitis B infections,
many of which are not documented.
In a notice issued by Doctor Diana Atwine the Permanent Secretary of
Ministry of Health on 31st January 2020, there is free vaccination against
hepatitis B which has started across districts in Central Uganda that include
Buvuma, Kayunga, Buikwe , Mukono, Nakaseke , Luweero , Kiboga, Nakasongola , Mityana
Atwine says that the screening and vaccination will be free but in any case of
extortion public should report to 0800100066 for follow up.
She added that those who will be screened and found Hepatitis B positive should
be referred to regional hospitals for management.
Atwine said that treatment for people found positive is free at
regional hospitals and but there are plans to scale it up to general hospitals.
Doctor Innocent Nkonwa, the Luweero District Health Officer says the district
has received 20,750 doses for Hepatitis B vaccines for start and health workers
have been trained to conduct the routine vaccination.
Nkonwa explains that the vaccination will be at health centre IIIs, IVs and
general hospitals targeting people above 18 years.
Nkonwa says that provision of vaccines to the district is a relief and asked
residents to embrace the routine vaccinations.
Residents and local leaders in Luweero district have welcomed the free
vaccination against Hepatitis B.
Herbert Ssekabira the Luweero District Councillor for People with Disabilities
and Ronald Buyinza a resident of Kyevuze village say many residents had shunned
the vaccination over the prohibitive costs in private hospitals.
Ssekabira, however, asked the districts to create awareness of the vaccination
so that many people embrace it for effective prevention.
// Cue in: “Enkola eyo…
Screening for hepatitis b goes for 5,000 shillings and vaccination is between
15,000-20,000 shillings per dose in private hospitals but many people,
especially in rural areas, couldn’t afford the costs.
According to Ministry of Health, the same screening and hepatitis B vaccination
will be conducted in districts in Western Uganda.
The Ministry of Health through National Hepatitis Strategic Plan 2014/2015 has
been implementing Hepatitis B control activities in the country since September
2015. The free vaccinations were being carried out in phased approach starting
with regions of high prevalence to low prevalence.
The Hepatitis virus, most commonly transmitted from mother to child during
birth and delivery, as well as through contact with blood or other body fluids,
can cause chronic infection and puts people at high risk of death from
cirrhosis and liver cancer.
Hepatitis B is also spread by needle stick injury, tattooing, piercing and
exposure to infected blood and body fluids, such as saliva and, menstrual,
vaginal, and seminal fluids.
According to the World Health Organization, sexual transmission of hepatitis B
may occur, particularly in men who are not vaccinated and have sex with men and
heterosexual persons with multiple sex partners or contact with sex
The Uganda Population HIV Impact assessment 2016 survey indicated that
Hepatitis B infection prevalence varies across the country with the highest
rates in Northern region with 4.6 per cent, 4.4 per cent in North East and 3.8 per
cent in West Nile.
Hepatitis B infection was lower in the rest of the country with a range of 0.8
per cent in the South West region to 2 per cent in the Central region.