They are only being released to health facilities that accounted of vaccines they received earlier this year
Kamuli district has received at least 100,000 doses of Hepatitis B vaccines from the ministry of health for the immunisation of residents against the disease.
The consignment was delivered to the district last week following a notification by district health officials and an overwhelming demand by residents.
The assistant district health officer, Moses Lyagoba, on Monday confirmed to New Vision the receipt of the 100,000 doses which he noted would cover a significant size of the district’s population.
He however explained that vaccines were only being released to hospitals and health centres that have furnished the district with accountability of vaccines they received earlier this year.
Speaking to New Vision on phone, Lyagoba named Kamuli Mission Hospital, Kasambira Health Centre and Kiige as some of the health facilities that have received vaccines, having complied with the requirements.
The lack of vaccines was first raised by residents during a series of public dialogues in the district organized by PATH, an international organisation.
At the dialogues under the Advocacy for Better Health (ABH) campaign in the sub counties of Bugulumbya, Namasagali, Balawoli, Bulopa, Wankole, Butansi, Namwendwa and Kamuli municipality, residents asked those in charge to avail the drugs.
“District leaders asked us to mobilise residents to be immunised against Hepatitis B and they came in big numbers only to be told that they had run out of screening kits and vaccines” Betty Namugaya a village health team (VHT) member in Bugulumbya said.
Others expressed worry that those that got the first and second doses may have to start afresh, but, Lyagoba explained that these will just continue and complete the remaining doses as the cycle is not affected by the delay.
During the meetings, residents complained about the lack of medicines in health centres, inadequate medical staff, late coming and absenteeism of staff and lack of enough space for counselling services especially for people living with HIV/AIDS.
At Bulopa Health Centre III, the in charge, Nicholas Magumba, said five new health workers had been posted to the unit but urged stakeholders to work as a team and avoid antagonising medical workers.
“Since last year, the district has been posting health workers to Bulopa but they refuse to come because those who worked here previously were mistreated by the community members, so we should change because this kind of work needs a supportive community,” he said.
It was also noted that most health centres lack enough houses to accommodate their staff, which makes them commute from distant places.
David Wankona, the Wankole LC 3 chairman commended ABH for empowering communities with knowledge on patients’ rights and responsibilities.
“Many did not know that they have a right to demand better services,” he observed.
According to the World Health Organisation, Hepatitis B is a potentially life-threatening viral infection that attacks the liver and can cause both acute and chronic disease.
According to the Ministry of Health, Uganda is one of the countries most affected by Hepatitis B.