Parliament has demanded government explain the whereabouts of 10 billion shillings which was given to the Ministry of health to fight Hepatitis B. The directive was issued by the speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga while presiding over parliament sitting.
This came after members of parliament have expressed concern over the increasing cases of Hepatitis B in the country when the funds to fight this disease was approved by parliament to stop further transmission. This matter was raised by the woman member of parliament for Serere district, Alice Alaso, in the parliamentary proceedings. Alaso says that 10 billion shillings was allocated during the budget period from the contingency fund for Hepatitis B but no vaccination has taken place. She noted that the ministry was given this fund to manage and control Hepatitis B in the country but the disease spread is high in Teso and Acholi sub regions.
The member of parliament for Dokolo county in Dokolo district, Felix Okot Ogong, says that the magnitude of the disease is high in Dokolo since about 20 people have died of Hepatitis B. Terego county member of parliament Kasiano Wadri Ezat says that if the government has failed to get the money to procure the vaccine , it should seek assistance from the World Health Organization.
The government chief whip Ruth Nankabirwa promised to instruct the minister of health to give a statement over the matter of Hepatitis B.
WHO Key facts
- Hepatitis B is a viral infection that attacks the liver and can cause both acute and chronic disease.
- The virus is transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person.
- An estimated 240 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis B (defined as hepatitis B surface antigen positive for at least 6 months).
- More than 780 000 people die every year due to complications of hepatitis B, including cirrhosis and liver cancer.
- Hepatitis B is an important occupational hazard for health workers.
- However, it can be prevented by currently available safe and effective vaccine.