Dr. Rachel Beyagira, a Technical Officer on Hepatitis told journalists on Thursday that they are considering starting testing and treating people who are found positive for the disease with data from blood banks showing increasing trends.
of Health is set to introduce routine screening for people at the highest risk of
contracting Hepatitis C and spreading it.
Dr. Rachel Beyagira, a Technical Officer on Hepatitis told journalists on
Thursday that they are considering starting testing and treating people who are found
positive for the disease with data from blood banks showing increasing trends.
She said the
cases are obtained when testing samples from blood donors since banks are
required to test for all diseases that could be spread through blood including
HIV, syphilis, and Hepatitis B.
//Cue in: “Hepatitis C we are…
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Mbale Regional Blood Bank has had the highest number of positive Hepatitis C
clients accounting for 6.5% of all the blood collected, followed by Gulu and
Mbarara blood banks with 5% and 3% of the blood collected respectively.
Fort Portal and Kitovu Masaka blood banks record the list percentages at
2% and 1%.
says they are introducing testing among pregnant women, those living with
conditions such as sickle cell anemia that require constant transfusion,
prisoners and health workers among other at-risk populations, and will link
those that test positive to treatment since there’s no vaccine yet for the
virus that causes scarring of the liver, liver failure, and liver cancer.
//Cue in: “It must be …
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the baby”. //
However, even as they are planning this, the Ministry of Health is still
grappling with the high prevalence of Hepatitis B and yet they can be vaccinated
like Hepatitis C causes severe liver damage and death but Beyagira says Ugandans
have not yet appreciated this risk and continue not to turn up for free
vaccination. Even when a mass campaign for testing and vaccination was
initiated by the government more than five years ago, only about seven million
people have been accessed of the 17million that they targeted to reach by 2020.
Beyagira says the Ministry has taken vaccination to the Western Uganda region but
still uptake is low just as was in districts of Eastern and Northern Uganda
where they started from.
hit the vaccination target for the jab given in three doses with overall
coverage nationwide now standing at 30.6%.
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this disease”. //
As a result of this slow progress, the Ministry of Health is also
re-strategizing from targeting masses through campaigns to having a few most at-risk people tested for both hepatitis C and B, then vaccinate those that test
negative for B which has an available vaccine which often expires in the
stores, as Beyagira explains.
The vaccine that...
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