By Zalimon Basighalha (Goodluck)
The National Organization for People Living with Hepatitis B-NOPLHB a Non-Governmental Organization providing the most comprehensive Hepatitis knowledge, prevention, care and support services, has launched a new project in Kasese district.
The Project dubbed ‘Accelerating Hepatitis B services uptake through training of frontline health workers integrated approaches in Uganda,’ was launched on Thursday in the Kasese District Health Office boardroom ta the District Headquarters in Rukoki.
Kenneth Kabagambe, the Organization’s Country Director says the project was to contribute to an improved Hepatitis B coverage among newborns, identify and link positive mothers into care in the rural areas across the district.
He added that the new project will also strengthen linkages between heath facilities and rural communities for an effective delivery and uptake of Hepatitis B among newborns as well as enrolling the mothers into the care of Hepatitis B victims.
Kabagambe said the project has been launched in Kasese because it has been realised with the highest number of unvaccinated people among other districts especially in Western Uganda. According to the latest Environmental Performance Index update on Hepatitis B in western Uganda, out of 326, 865 eligible persons to be vaccinated against HepB in Kasese district, only 59,185 are vaccinated putting the district at a high risk.
Steven Bagonza, the Assistant District Health Officer in-charge of Environmental Health, who also represented the District Health Officer, revealed that basically, majorly Hepatitis B is caused by toxins from drugs including marijuana, alcohol among others that affects the liver.
However, he was optimistic that the intervention of the government and National Organization for People Living with Hepatitis B advocating for the rights of Hepatitis B patients, improvement of the diagnostic and clinical services as well as creating awareness about the disease, Uganda can reduce cases of Hepatitis B.
The Assistant D.H.O further revealed that anybody above 20 years is a candidate of Hepatitis B as long as they don’t vaccinate.
In her closing remarks, the Kasese District LCV Vice Chairperson, Jetress Ithungu, commended National Organization for People Living with Hepatitis B for the establishment of the project, adding that it will create more awareness. She encouraged the general public to prioritize Hepatitis B diagnosis such that they know their health status.
Ithungu called upon local leaders and health workers across the district to cooperate with the organization team as well as owning it for its effectiveness.
During the meeting, the District Health Department listed the health facilities that offer Hepatitis B services. They include Kilembe Mines, Kagando and Bwera General Hospitals. Others are Rwesande and St. Paul’s Health Centre IVs.