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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Uganda Joins the World in Marking World Hepatitis Day

Uganda has today joined the world in marking the World Hepatitis Day under the theme, “I can’t wait. Bringing Hepatitis care closer to you.”

The Ministry of Health with support from partners is holding a 2-day symposium to strengthen actions towards the elimination of Hepatitis in Uganda from 27th-28th, July 2022 at Imperial Royale Hotel Kampala.

World Hepatitis Day takes place every year on 28th July to raise awareness and promote global action on viral hepatitis.

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the Liver. There are five main types of the hepatitis virus; A, B, C, D and E. Hepatitis B and C lead to chronic disease in hundreds of millions of people globally and together are the most common cause of liver cirrhosis, liver cancer and viral hepatitis related deaths.

It is responsible for the deaths of about 125,000 people in Africa every year and more than 90 million people are living with hepatitis in Africa, accounting for 26% of the global total.

Though in most cases individuals do not have any signs and symptoms of Hepatitis, if one gets the following signs he/she should go for a medical test; Yellow discoloration of the eyes, Dark Urine, Extreme body weakness, Nausea, Vomiting and Abdominal pain.

Free Hepatitis screening is available at all public hospitals from health center III’s to National referral hospitals like Kiruddu National Referral Hospital allow free access to Testing, Vaccination and Chronic care management of hepatitis patients every Wednesday of the week.

Hepatitis B the most common in Uganda is transmitted through, mother’s to child at birth, Direct blood to blood contact, unprotected sex, sharing sharp objects like needles, razor blades, earrings and tooth brushes and unsterile health care practices.

As one of the causes of Hepatitis being from mother to baby at birth, pregnant mother’s MUST get screened for Hepatitis during Antenatal care Visits.

The Minister of health Ruth Aceng on the first day of the symposium tasked Ugandans to get vaccinated and seek treatment in case of infection.

“In order to end this killer disease, going for screening, getting vaccinated and if sick, adhering to your health workers advice and starting Hepatitis treatment on time can save your life and prevent further complications,” Ruth Aceng said.

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