Govt Procures Hepatitis B Drugs Worth UGX 13B

2144 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Daniel Kimosho, the National Medical Stores NMS Public Relations Manager, says the last batch of Hepatitis B drugs worth three billion shillings was purchased late last month.

Government has procured over 1.7 million doses of Hepatitis B drugs worth 13 billion shillings.

Daniel Kimosho, the National Medical Stores (NMS) Public Relations Manager, says the last batch of Hepatitis B drugs worth three billion shillings was purchased late last month.

The drugs consist of treatment drugs and those that will be used to immunise medical personnel treating patients in affected districts and people living in high risk of catching Hepatitis B in Uganda.

Kimosho says the affected districts with the Hepatitis B epidemic placed in their orders for drugs which were purchased and delivered.

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In Uganda 10% of the population, or more than 3.5 million people, are living with chronic Hepatitis B infection. 

Presently, Hepatitis B prevalence rate is highest in North East with 21.7% of the people having the virus. North Central follows closely at 19.4%, West Nile at 18.7%, Western at 10%, Kampala at 5.8% and Central at 5.8%. Southwest has the lowest prevalence rate at 2.9%.

Hepatitis B virus can be transmitted through sexual intercourse, mother to child and blood transfusion among others.

According to the Ministry of Health, 13 districts have been affected by the Hepatitis B epidemic since 2015. They are Ngora, Bukedea, Adjumani, Gulu, Dokolo, Moroto, Lira, Moyo, Napak, Koboko, Kumi, Tororo and Arua.

Dr. Jackson Amone, Commissioner clinical services at the Ministry of Health says under the Hepatitis prevention program, the Government of Uganda committed a total of 13 billion shillings towards addressing the burden of Hepatitis during 2015/16 financial year. Of this, slightly over 12 billion was remitted to the National Medical Stores, who procured 1,768,040 doses of the Hepatitis B virus vaccine, distributed among 13 districts in the first phase of the campaign. The other districts will be covered in the 2nd and 3rd phases.

But the disease has spread to other parts of Uganda, with districts such as Kasese, having patients and immunised medical workers treating them.