12 February 2019

Uganda: All Medics to Be Immunised Against Hepatitis B - Health Ministry

The Ministry of Health has issued a directive to all health facilities to have their medical personnel immunised against the Hepatitis B disease.

The directive announced by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health Dr Diana Atwine is a safety measure for all health personnel at the different health facilities in the Country who stand a higher risk of getting exposed to the Hepatitis B disease in line of duty.

"It is unfortunate that we continue to register cases of health personnel contracting the Hepatitis B disease. This should not happen because you are in direct contact with the suspected cases. This is now a directive to have all the health personnel get immunised. I know that some have already got the doses but this is now a directive to all management at the different health facilities to quickly register all staff who are yet to get the doses. Write to us so that the doses are delivered," Dr Atwine said.

Dr Diana Atwine made the remarks while meeting health officials and district leaders in Luweero District. She clarified on the Hepatitis B mass vaccination program which the Ministry of Health is rolling out in phases.

"We started in West Nile, Karamoja, Elgon, Busoga regions. We are yet to roll out the program in Central region," Dr Atwine said in response to concerns by Luweero health officials on the increasing cases of patients diagnosed with the Hepatitis B disease.

The District leaders called for a quick intervention through a mass vaccination program since many of the residents cannot afford to foot the bills from the private health service providers for the Hepatitis B vaccination.

"Government appreciates and is ready to listen to the concerns raised by medical workers including the welfare of the health personnel. We also need to appreciate that government has already made some initiative through salary increase. It is unfortunate that some of the health workers do not report to the duty station on weekends. Sickness cannot be on appointment. We should be ready to offer service to our people all the time," Dr Atwine told the health workers.

Luweero Resident District Commissioner Ms Phoebe Namulindwa rallied the health workers to offer preventive health advice to the population.

"I have moved around and found our areas very dirty yet we have the health personnel who can sensitise the workers. We are also getting cases of health personnel neglecting duty by failing to report to duty in time. We have on several occasions intervened including a recent case at Zirobwe health Centre III where it had become a habit for health personnel to be absent," Namulindwa told Dr Atwine.

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