Ministry of Health has cautioned doctors to take all necessary tests before administering treatment to suspected patients of Hepatitis B.
During the fundraising dinner for Africa Hepatitis Summit in Kampala on Friday, the Ministry of Health permanent secretary, Dr Diana Atwine, said not everyone who tests positive to hepatitis needs treatment.
“If you test and find out the person is positive, don’t rush to administer the medicine. Sometimes hepatitis particles found in the blood sample need to be re-examined. Some of the people might have particles of the virus in their body when they actually defeated the virus,” Dr Atwine said.
“To determine whether there are many particles of the virus in the body, another test is carried out on viral load to quantify the amount of the virus in the body. If the amount is a lot, then one starts treatment. If the liver is damaged, enzymes start going on top of the liver, then one starts on medication as well,” she added.
According to a 2016 Uganda Population–based HIV Impact Assessment (UPHIA) survey, prevalence of Hepatitis B infection among adults stood at 4.3 per cent (5.6 per cent among men and 3.1 per cent among women). The survey indicated that Hepatitis B prevalence is highest in northern sub-region at 4.6 per cent.
This month, Uganda is to host the first African Hepatitis Summit under the theme “eliminating viral hepatitis in Africa.”
Dr Atwine said the summit aims at raising awareness in the sub-region, the need for negotiating platforms of the medicine and how the population can access it.
“Northern Uganda has high prevalence. Possibly it’s because of our neighbours South Sudan having very high infection rate. Therefore possibly it could have spilled over. So even if we make an effort here in the country and we make sure we immunize, if our neighbours have high disease burden, still it will spill over to us,” Dr Atwine said.
Hepatitis B prevalence. A 2016 Uganda Population–based HIV Impact Assessment survey, prevalence of Hepatitis B infection among adults stood at 4.3 per cent (5.6 per cent among men and 3.1 per cent among women).
The survey indicated that Hepatitis B prevalence is highest in northern sub-region at 4.6 per cent.
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