Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | As part of its new drive to test all adults of 19 years and above, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has designated a number of health facilities as hepatitis B treatment centers in Kampala allocating two are more facilities in each division.
This is part of its greater phase IV plan for controlling the disease in 31 high risk districts which started in 2015 with vaccinating school going girls first in high prevalence areas.
According to guidelines issued on Friday, those that test positive in Central division will be treated at Kisenyi health center IV and Makerere University Hospital, Rubaga division residents will go to Kawaala and Kitebi health center IIIs whereas those from Makindye division will seek care at Kisugu HC III and Kiruddu National Referral hospital.
Those from Nakawa division will be treated at Naguru and Butabika hospital while Mulago and Kawempe National Referral hospitals will cater for Kawempe division.
Dr. Henry Mwebesa, the Director General of Health Services says everyone in Kampala will be tested for free and those with a negative result will be vaccinated immediately at the health facilities where the test will be conducted.
Other districts to be covered in this exercise that runs up to October include, Masaka, Rakai, Kyotera, Kalangala, Mpigi, Butambala, Gomba, Sembabule, Bukomansimbi, Lwengo, Kalungu and Lyantonde in the central region and 18 districts of South Western Uganda.
The 2016 Uganda Population based HIV Impact Assessment (UPHIA) estimated the national prevalence to be at 4.1% in the population aged 15-64 years. The highest prevalence was recorded in the mid- North region at 4.6% and the South Western region has the lowest prevalence at 0.8%. Prevalence in the Central region stands at 2%.
However while government is embarking on a new testing and treatment drive, the key issues that experts have noted with hepatitis B vaccination is people not completing their doses.
A full dose of the vaccine is three shots taken every after six months but a Ministry of Health report released at the sector joint review last year showed that only 60% went back for the second dose and this further fell to 45% for the final shot.