Hepatitis E Outbreak in Uganda

Health Minister Christine Ondoa has expressed concern over the rising prevalence of Hepatitis B in eastern Uganda, despite efforts to contain the deadly disease.

“Ministry and district health officers are working tirelessly to see that we solve this problem; we call upon all people to embrace preventive measures because it is better than cure,” Ondoa said in Soroti last week,

Like HIV, Hepatitis B spreads through sex, mother-to-child transmission, sharing of sharp objects and blood transfusion. But it is 15 times more infectious than HIV/Aids.

The disease is incurable and difficult to detect, and causes liver cancer and chronic liver failure.

“The government has already introduced medicine for children below one year,” Ondoa said, as the government launched a programme to distribute 21 million nets. “This is the vaccine they get below the left thigh when they are six weeks; parents immunize your children against Hepatitis B.”

Hepatitis B virus infection is highly endemic in Uganda, with transmission occurring in childhood and adulthood. Some 1.4 million adults are chronically infected and some communities disproportionately affected.

Source: All Africa