National
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
newvision

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 digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
President Museveni to grace prayers for New NRM team
President Yoweri Museveni is Sunday afternoon expected to grace special thanksgiving prayers for the newly appointed National Resistance Movement (NRM) Party leaders...
Church says Pope yet to confirm visit
The Catholic Church has said Ugandans could have celebrated the news of the Pope’s coming prematurely. According to the Pope’s representative in Uganda, chances that the Pope will not come are high...
Several injured in bus accident
An unspecified number of people were Saturday critically injured when a bus they were travelling in overturned at Kandahi village near Hima town along the Fort Portal - Kasese Highway....
Uganda Printing and Publishing Company looks to key reforms
The Uganda Printing and Publishing Company (UPPC) needs sh5bn for paying benefits to 80 workers who have clocked their retirement age, as well as upgrading its machinery....
Arrest of clerics not targeting Muslims – Muruli
SECURITY minister Muruli Mukasa has allayed fears among the Muslims that the arrest of their leaders in connection with the recent murders of Muslim clerics is targeting their community...
URA supervisor imprisoned for corruption
THE Court of Appeal has upheld a High Court sentence of three years imprisonment imposed on a URA supervisor Deo Imere, convicted of soliciting a bribe to reduce a billion tax into mere millions...
Should local leaders arrest parents who oppose UPE?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter