Wednesday April 23 2014

Government needs Shs75b for Hepatitis B fight, says minister


WAKISO- Government needs $30 million (about Shs75.2 billion) for the countrywide fight against the rampant Hepatitis B sickness, a junior minister for health has revealed.

Hepatitis B is an infectious illness of the liver caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) that affects hominoide, including humans.

Ms Sarah Opendi, the state minister for health, said the money is required for purchase of drugs for treatment and vaccines for the next two years.

“Hepatitis B is on the rise because it is a sexuality transmitted disease and many of the people infected are not aware of it,” Ms Opendi said.

Speaking at the opening of the Rotary family health camp in Kira Town Council, Wakiso District recently, Ms Opendi observed that the needs in health sector are still enormous despite government investment in terms of equipment and infrastructure.

According to the minister, the sickness is prevalent in the regions of West Nile, Lango and Acholi. She commended efforts that have increased the country’s immunisation rate from 52 per cent in 2012 to the current 93 per cent of the children immunised.

Rotarians in partnership with corporate bodies organised the health camp at 150 sites across the country to provide free medical services, including testing for diseases, medical examinations, counselling and treatment.

Mr Emmanuel Katongole, the 9200 District Governor of Rotary

said the health camp seeks to treat people with various diseases, especially pregnant mothers as a way of preventing the high maternal death rate in the country.

“We appeal to all the people to utilise this chance to access medical services at no cost. Corporate bodies need to develop the Rotary spirit of serving above self and give back to the communities because a healthy society is the purchasing power for goods and services,” he added.