September 18, 2013

Hepatitis B Reported In Kasese

More cases of Hepatitis B are being reported in the sub-counties of Mukunyu and Kisinga in Bukonzo east, Kasese district.

During a voluntary testing exercise in the affected areas last week, at least 18 of every 200 people tested positive to Hepatitis B.

The tests were carried out at Kisinga sub-county Headquarters, by Pascal Kamalha Bilhwangiro, the Director Family Medical Care Centre in Kinyamaseke Town board in Mukunyu sub-county.

Bilhwangiro said his family had so far lost two family members to the disease which he said shows yellowish urine and abdominal pain among other symptoms.

He advised the people to avoid drinking alcohol, taking herbs as the disease damages the human liver describing it as more serious than HIV/AIDS.

The outbreak was last reported in the district in the district in 2011.

Hosea Bakalhania, a resident of Kisinga wants all the people to voluntarily go for Hepatitis B testing and screening.

Kenneth Kabagambe, the Chairperson of the National Organisation for People Living with Hepatitis B in Uganda, said that the first African regional Patient Solidarity day will be held on October 30, 2013 under the theme “Improve lives under patient centered health care”.

He revealed that Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is one hundred times more contagious than HIV/AIDS and is one of the leading causes of primary liver cancer.

However, Kasese District Health officer, Dr. Peter Mukobi said he had not received reports about the overwhelming figures though the disease is known to be in existence in the district.

He advised private organizations engaged in screening and testing for Hepatitis B to always consult the district Health office for the central government to intervene.

Hepatitis B is a viral infection that attacks the liver and can cause both acute and chronic disease.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), the virus is transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person.  About 600, 000 people die every year due to the consequences of hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B prevalence is highest in sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia.

More than two billion people worldwide are estimated to have had hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and 350 million chronic carriers of the virus are at high risk of cirrhosis of the liver and primary liver cancer.

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