By Marko Taibot
Adjumani-The poor uptake of hepatitis B vaccine in the district is worrying the health authorities amidst fears of expiry of the vaccines.
Out of 215,000 doses of vaccines procured to handle the cases of the Hepatitis B that had become common in the district, 65,300 doses were used. And of the 119,000 kits secured, only 55,100 have been used.
According to Dr Aciro Harriet the focal person for Hepatitis B in the district Hepatitis B prevalence is at 11.8 percent among nationals while 15 percent among refugees. She says it is the mobility of the South Sudan refugees that affect the uptake of the hepatitis B vaccines especially the third dose.
Adjumani started Hepatitis B screening in 2015 including both host community and refugees and vaccination of the ones that test negative and enrollment of those that test positive into care mainly in Adjumani hospital.
Treatment depends on how active the virus is in your body and your chance of liver damage. The goal of treatment is to stop liver damage by keeping the virus from multiplying.
Globally viral hepatitis receives so little funding and attention from global health policy makers and donors. For example the sustainable development Goals (SDGs) have a goal to end the epidemics of HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria by 2030 while combating hepatitis despite the fact hepatitis accounts for more deaths reason.
A woman tests for Hepatitis B in Koboko. Photos by Felix.
“Difficulty in accurately quantifying and explaining the morbidity and mortality related to hepatitis due to limited tools for data collection and information gap,” Dr Aciro said.
According to World Health Organisation, over 2 billion persons are exposed to hepatitis B virus infection and the majority of them live in Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia. Globally 240 million are chronic carriers.1.4 million deaths globally and 325 million globally with hepatitis B virus.3.5 million Ugandans have chronic hepatitis being highest in Karamoja with 23.9 percent and followed by Northern region by 20.7 percent and west Nile by 10.0 percent.
The deputy chief administrative officer, Dalili Moses, said the health workers need to expedite on the outreach to include testing and vaccination as well. He said those who have started should act responsibly and complete the doses to avoid further infections.
The resident district commissioner Adjumani Oya Nahori Auwa urged the health workers to work hard and consolidate their position since the district was ranked first in the country in health serve delivery.
He pledges to continue with monitoring health facilities to ascertain the level of commitment of health workers.
In Adjumani district of the 6,100 people, 5,247 tested positive, 24,995 received the first dose 16,100 returned for second dose while only 5,766 managed to complete the third dose.
Many look at the competition of the dose a very hectic venture and the feel satisfied with the two doses. Yet the health authorities recommend that one has to complete all the three doses for safety.