Hepatitis B Patients Ask Government to Prioritise Treatment

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In short
Ponsiano Ocama, an academic Herpetologist, says instead of Hepatitis B patients consuming antiretroviral drugs, they should be given 300mg of Tenofovir. On the open market 30 tablets of Tenofovir cost between Shillings 30,000 and 40,000. This treatment is taken for life.

The National Organisation for People Living with Hepatitis B-NOPLHB wants government to prioritise Hepatitis B patients by availing them the right treatment. 

 
Kenneth Kabagambe, the Executive Director NOPLHB made the call this morning ahead of their celebrations to commemorate the World Hepatitis Day Symposium at Imperial Royale Hotel.
 
 
According to Kabagambe, government isn't helping people living hepatitis B. "Currently, people suffering from Hepatitis B are being given HIV medication, which has components that can treat hepatitis. But it also leaves them vulnerable to complications that might be caused by the side effects of the drugs," he said.

 
 
According to Kabagambe, Hepatitis patients are being given Lamivudine (3 TC), an antiretroviral drug that contains 600mg of efavirenz, 300mg of tenofovir and 200mg emtricitabine.

 
Ponsiano Ocama, an academic Herpetologist, says instead of Hepatitis B patients consuming antiretroviral drugs, they should be given 300mg of Tenofovir.  On the open market 30 tablets of Tenofovir cost between Shillings 30,000 and 40,000. This treatment is taken for life.                     


Kabagambe says as an organisation, they want the president to extend support to Hepatitis like he has given to HIV.  



"The president has come out and led the campaign against HIV/AIDS. People can be tested and diagnosed at almost any health center in the country and yet that is not the case for Hepatitis B that can only be diagnosed at big hospitals like Mulago National Referral Hospital," he said. 



Currently, government offers free Hepatitis testing in public hospitals. According to Christopher Opio, a Gastroeterologist at Mulago Hospital says at least 70% of all liver patients in the country suffer from Hepatisis B.

 
According to NOPLHB, currently 3.5 Ugandans are living with Hepatitis B