M7 Blames Hepatitis B On Refugees
By Andrew Cohen Amvesi
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has blamed the increasing cases of the deadly Hepatitis B disease in Northern Uganda on the influx of refugees in the area, Gabriel Ajedra Aridru, the State Minister of Finance in charge of general duties has said.
According to Aridru, it is for this reason that the President has ordered for immediate creation of a buffer zone between South Sudan and Northern Uganda border districts.
Aridru said in a meeting at Entebbe State House on October 13, 2016, Museveni also called for expeditious Hepatitis B vaccination in all districts neighbouring South Sudan in the North.
Aridru made the revelation at Kuluva hospital where he was handing over a donation of 30 delivery mistresses he procured for the health facility early this week.
This was after Dr. Bernard Lango, the Hospital’s deputy Supretendant raised concerns about the alarming cases of Hepatitis B in the hospital.
According to Lango, the hospital has enrolled 290 patients in Hepatitis B Clinic in a period of one and a half months.
He noted that 87 of the patients need Hepatitis B Anti-Retro Viral drugs (ARVs) drugs while others are still being monitored.
But Lango observed that there are no ARVs to administer for the victims at all, an act he said has put the patients’ lives at stake.
Lango urged the Minister to use his position to influence the Ministry of Health to pariotize the procurement of Hepatitis B ARVs in the Country.
In his response, Aridru accused the Ministry of poor planning.
“We had given the Ministry of Health shs10bn for procuring Hepatitis B drugs but their planning was not proper,” Aridru said.
“At some incident, they procured the drugs without knowing who has the disease or not. They didn’t even know the disease viral load because they didn’t test anybody,” Aridru added.
He said this time round, the Ministry has been added another shs5bn for the exercise with hopes that they will change.
Aridru emphasized that the President strongly believes that the influx of mainly South Sudan refugees has greatly contributed to the rapid spread of Hepatitis B disease in the Country.