Look at this circus. Where are the monkeys and elephants and clowns? They cannot even pay the health care workers or put basic medicine in the hospitals and now they demand for HBV vaccination for all the health care workers. Yes, like they all go sleeping around to pass vaginal cancer and diseases to the patients. Talk about distorted priorities!!! Who is funding this stupid thing anyway/ I have no problems with vaccines but when used in irrelevant situations, you will hear me. These bufoons will not even pay our people a descent salary or whatever pathetic salary they are being paid is delayed by too many months. BUT hey, they want to give them free needles. Tumbanina.
By Agnes Kyotalengerire
KAMPALA - The ministry of health has launched new rules, making it compulsory for all health workers to be vaccinated against hepatitis B virus (HBV).
The Public Health Vaccination of Health Workers Against Hepatitis B Rule No.105 of 2014 specifies that all health workers shall within six months from the commencement of these rules be vaccinated against HBV.
Also launched was the Public Health Declaration of Hepatitis B as a disease of public health importance, Order No.2014.
The Statutory Instrument (rule) also stipulates that any health worker who contravenes it commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding six currency points (about sh120,000) or imprisonment not exceeding three months or both.
Hepatitis B is an infectious disease caused by the hepatitis B virus which affects the liver, causing inflammation.
The new rules were launched by the minister of health Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye at the ministry offices in Wandegeya, Kampala on Friday.
He said the purpose of the rule is to provide for the vaccination of all health workers against HBV to reduce the risk of transmission from health workers to the patients they treat, patients to health workers, patients to intern medical workers or from interns to patients.
“We have decided to start with health workers because they are most at risk. The risk is higher because they can contract the virus while they operate upon and treat patients in health facilities.”
The minister said district health officers should move to all health facilities to make sure that all health workers are vaccinated. In addition, the health workers should take it upon themselves to ensure they are vaccinated.
It is understood the regulations to implement the rules will be subsequently issued and gazette for operationalization.
The rule also states that a person required to be vaccinated under these rules shall be vaccinated using the recommended regime of hepatitis B vaccine.
Minister Tumwesigye launching the Statutory Instruments on Hepatitis B Virus 2014. (Photo credit: Agnes Kyotalengerire)
Every health unit shall in accordance with this rule vaccinate every health worker or student, working or undergoing training within the health unit based on a standard vaccination schedule not exceeding six months from the commencement of the rule.
The rule also reveals that a health unit shall not employ a person as a health worker unless that person is vaccinated against HBV.
It states that a health unit which contravenes this rule commits an offence and its proprietor is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding six currency points or imprisonment not exceeding three months or both.
The rule provides that every student undergoing instruction or internship at a health unit shall within six months from the commencement of the rule be vaccinated against HBV.
A student or intern who contravenes this rule commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding six currency points or imprisonment not exceeding three months or both.
The rule also spells out that the director, Medical Superintendent, a district health officer and the head of a health unit or health training institution shall ensure that all health workers, health units and health training institutions within their jurisdiction comply with these rules.
Facts about hepatitis B virus
Hepatitis B, caused by the hepatitis B virus, affects the liver. Dr. Tumwesigye says HBV is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Uganda. It is further responsible for an overwhelming 70% of the cases of liver cirrhosis and liver cancer in Uganda.
He estimates that approximately 16 million Ugandans are at risk of acquiring the HBV infection, especially adolescents and young adults.
There is an estimated 3.5 million people living with chronic HBV in Uganda – which is approximately 10% of the population.
Regions of Karamoja, West Nile and Lango are worst affected with prevalence of 25%, while the south west has the lowest prevalence at 4%.