Hepatitis E death toll ‘now at 23’
Publish Date: Mar 19, 2014
Hepatitis E death toll ‘now at 23’
Karamoja region is badly hit by Hepatitis E, a disease that has left 967 people infected, according to the latest health ministry report. PHOTO/File
  • mail
  • img

By Francis Kagolo                                                                            

The number of people killed by Hepatitis E, a liver viral disease, in Karamoja region now stands at 23, while 967 other individuals have been infected, according to the latest report from the ministry of health.           

This is an increase from 15 deaths reported in early February when the ministry had last updated the public about the epidemic.           

Earlier, it was assumed the disease, which was first confirmed in Napak district on December 1, 2013, had come under control.

But Dr. Diana Aceng, the director general of health services, said there has been increasing transmission in the communities, affecting mostly females.

The disease has since spread to other districts of Moroto, Kotido, Nakapiripirit, Abim, Amudat, Katakwi and Amuria.

“At least 967 cases of Hepatitis E infections including 23 deaths have been reported as of March 16, 2014,” she said.

“The disease has increased the risk of maternal death in the Karamoja sub region. A total of 15 (65.7%) of the 23 deaths occurred in expectant mothers, several leaving behind premature babies.”

She made the disclosure during a high level advocacy meeting on Hepatitis E organised by the ministry at the Kampala Golf Course Hotel on Tuesday.             

Several government ministers and senior officials from different sectors and development partners attended the meeting during which they used to advocate for increased funding to avert the pandemic.

Hepatitis E is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis E virus, a non-enveloped virus transmitted mainly through drinking contaminated water. The infection usually resolves within four to six weeks, occasionally developing into acute liver failure, which can lead to death.

Globally, there are approximately 20 million incidents of hepatitis E infections and 57,000 related deaths every year, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).           

Hepatitis E is found in faeces of infected individuals and is spread by consuming drinks or foods that have been contaminated with feaces. The disease is commonly seen in communities that don’t have clean water or latrines.

Karamoja region, where Napak is found, is prone to Hepatitis E because of its low latrine coverage and lack of safe drinking water. Over 75% of households in the 27,900sqkm sub-region lack access to latrines, according to ministry of water and environment reports. 

Speaking at the meeting, WHO’s representative in Uganda Dr. Wondi Alemu implored the Government to earmark adequate resources to improve safe water coverage in Karamoja.

Barbra Nekesa, the state minister for Karamoja Affairs, suggested recourse to pumping underground water instead of relying on boreholes which often breakdown.


The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Ministry of Health to ensure that ugandans live longer
The Ministry of Health has announced measures it will pursue to ensure that Ugandans live longer healthier lives....
NRM aspirants warned on witchdoctors
People vying in the NRM primaries are warned against running to witchdoctors for purposes of winning the elections.The coordinator of NRM elections in western Uganda, who is also the RDC for Kabalore district, Stephen Asiimwe, said he had received information that some candidates have started to seek the powers of witchdoctors to give them favours against their opponents....
One dead, several injured in taxi accident
Over 20 people are treating severe injuries following an accident that occurred in Wakiso town along Hoima Road....
Access to electricity key to sustainable development - G20 summit
Studies have shown that equitable access to electricity is a key driver of sustainable development. It is a basic necessity to address central development issues such as poverty and basic health care....
Reach Out Mbuya holds 8th annual sports gala
The annual sports gala organised by Reach Out Mbuya HIV/AIDS Initiative was on Saturday held at Kyambogo University Sports field...
Govt takes child marriage, early pregnancy fight to schools
Government is sending out trained counselors in reproductive health to schools to talk to students, pupils, teachers and parents on the dangers of increasing rate of child marriages and early pregnancies countrywide...
Should Makerere University fees policy be reviewed?
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter