Doctors from Uganda peoples Defence Force have joined other health personnel in Karamoja region in trying to bring the escalating Hepatitis B under control.
The UPDF doctors are mainly targeting institutions like schools where they carry out sensitization programs, carrying out tests on teachers, students, and administer vaccination on those who are not affected by the virus.
The disease has severely affected the region with Moroto regional referral hospital admitting a total of 175 people every week who voluntarily go for the test.
Capt Isac Owera, the UPDF 3rd division Spokesperson, said it is the force’s mandate to serve its citizens at all levels.
“As UPDF we are the people of Uganda’s army so anything that affects the lives of our people UPDF comes in to fight against it,” he said.
According to the Moroto regional hospital director, Dr. Filbert Nyeko, out of 700 people who went for the test last month, 15% of them turned out to be positive.
“The disease is there and we need a collective effort to stop it,” he said.
Dr. Nyeko commended the UPDF doctors for their efforts in the fight against the virus appealing for more effort in order to rescue the lives of the people from the disease.
Dr. Nyeko added that the regional referral hospital was planning to open a clinic to exclusively handle cases of Hepatitis B. He said people who will be tested positive of the virus will be treated from the clinic.
Fr. John Bosco Kutegana, the head teacher of Moroto high school, where the UPDF doctors conducted tests said that out of 1700 students 50 of them were tested positive.
According to World health organisation definition, hepatitis B is a virus that infects the liver; it sometimes leads to a long-term infection, called chronic Hepatitis B. Over some time, it can lead to liver damage. The disease spreads through contact with the blood and body fluids of an infected person.
Last year many youth in the Karamoja region didn’t make it to join UPDF after they were screened by UPDF medical team and were found to be suffering from Hepatitis B.