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Uganda to hold first-ever African Hepatitis B Summit

The Ministry of Health is convening the first ever African Hepatitis Summit. (PHOTO/Courtesy)

KAMPALA –The Ministry of Health is convening the first ever African Hepatitis Summit from June 18 to June 2 at Speke Resort Munyonyo, Kampala.

Under the theme “Eliminating Viral Hepatitis in Africa, Implementing the viral Hepatitis Strategy”, the summit will be hosted by National Organization for People Living with Hepatitis B (NOPLHB).

The summit is intended to strengthen the broader Hepatitis community by sharing ideas, experiences and best practices in addressing the many challenges of viral hepatitis in the region.

In addition, the summit will also play as a platform for African countries to discuss best practices and lessons learnt in the fight against Viral Hepatitis.

Dr. Diana Atwine, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health said, “Uganda has undertaken strategic interventions to fight Hepatitis and positive strides have been realized. We have been carrying out screening of the population and mass vaccination of those that are not infected. We have also been sensitizing the public on the problems of this disease and how we can avoid it.”

She further added that the Ministry of Health has commenced the training and capacity building of health care workers to handle Hepatitis B and will be scaled up to Hepatitis C. She noted that the National Strategic plan for control of Hepatitis B (2015–2019) and care and treatment guidelines were developed.

According to the Uganda HIV impact assessment survey (UPHIA 2016), the prevalence of Hepatitis B among adults aged 15-49 years old stands at 4.1%. The survey further indicates a regional variation with the northern region having the highest prevalence of up to 4.6% and the south-western region with the lowest at 0.8%.

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