The high cost of testing for Hepatitis B virus and treatment in Nebbi district is keeping away residents. Testing for Hepatitis B at Nebbi main hospital costs UGX 5000 and in private clinics between UGX 10,000 and 15,000.
Dr. Charles Kennedy Kissa, the medical superintendent Nebbi says a single dose of Hepatitis B in a private facility goes for UGX 70,000. A patient needs at least three doses to fully recover, which cost no less than UGX 200,000.
According to Kissa, currently Nebbi hospital doesn’t offer Hepatitis B treatment to the public since government is only focusing on immunizing health workers to prevent them from infection.
He says despite the fact that, the disease is not common at the hospital, they register some isolated cases. Kissa says that since mid this year begun, they have registered 8 cases with two deaths.
Paul Kumakech, a resident of Nebbi says if government was serious about the disease it should have rolled out universal vaccination of citizens.
He argues that if government can buy anti-retro viral drugs for people living with HIV Aids what about hepatitis B. Scovia Opileni, a teacher in one of the primary schools in the district asks government to consider providing vaccines for all citizens.
She says government should think of having health and productive citizens who can provide taxes for the development of the country.
Hepatitis B presents with fever, vomiting and yellow eyes. It can be transmitted through sharing sharp objects with an infected person, unprotected sex and blood transfusion among others.