President Yoweri Museveni has launched a massive vaccination campaign against Hepatitis B that will see over 15 million Ugandans protected against the epidemic currently ravaging several parts of the country.
The campaign is part of the July 28th World Hepatitis day activities to raise awareness about viral hepatitis, and to call for access to treatment and better prevention programs.
“It is my pleasure to launch the campaign for the immunization against Hepatitis B. I appeal to you to take care of your lives and don’t get infected by this deadly disease which spreads like HIV/AIDS through sex, kissing and sharing needles,” he said at an excise that saw several people being vaccinated in Mukura Sub county, Ngora district.
The virus is transmitted through exposure to infectious blood or body fluids such as semen and vaginal fluids, while viral DNA has been detected in the saliva, tears, and urine of chronic carriers.
Until recently, the hepatitis B vaccine has only been available for medical personnel and children under five years in government hospitals free of charges.
Uganda is highly endemic with 10% national prevalence of hepatitis B infection, rates varying across the country from 4% in the southwest and 25% in the Northeast according to reports.
Addressing a massive rally at Kalere Primary School ground, the President said health is very crucial and urged people to check their blood so that they know their status and get immunized if not infected or get treated if infected by the virus.
The President said children from one to thirteen years are safe because they have already been immunized and he says, he is only worried of the Adults.
He commended the Minister of Health, Elioda Tumwesigye for announcing that there will be vaccination of more than 15 million people on Hepatitis-B.
The President later presented certificates to Sam Okurut and Jenifer Ariakut, who were immunized at the campaign rally.
The President who is in Teso region to promote the Operation Wealth Creation Campaign that ensures that households engage in at least one income generating activity later commissioned the Ngora district Headquarters block and also launched the Ngora District Development Association, Famers Network [NGODDAFAN] and Mukura Victims Association.
He urged the people of Teso to exploit the current infrastructure development and get rid of poverty, saying each household must have wealth-generating project.
The President noted that you cannot get enough money unless you engage in modern agro production involving cost effective projects.
The President said while the NRM government brought education for all and people now know how to read and write, many don’t have skills to create jobs or be self-employed.
He cited professional skills such as midwifery, nursing, doctors, carpenters, engineers, and ICT, which provide jobs alongside other sectors such as Agriculture, Industries and Services.
He later commissioned ten classroom blocks and one library block for Mukura Memorial Secondary School that was constructed with funds from the Capital Development Fund from NRM government through Ministry of Education.
He also laid wreath on a massive grave of the Mukura Massacre victims in memory of the incidence and later met and greeted the survivors.