KAMPALA, The government of Uganda has come up with a new strategy to fight Hepatitis B, a disease which affects some 3.5 million people across the country, says Dr. Susan Nabadda, a consultant pathologist at Mulago National Referral Hospital here.

The government's strategy includes expanding the access to laboratory tests for hepatitis, controlling the quality of testing, training and building capacity in diagnosing hepatitis and linking of people who have tested positive to health centres for viral load testing and treatment.

Others strategies are capturing data, boosting the supply chain for chemicals and equipment to increase access to diagnosis. Currently, Ugandans pay a lot of money to test for Hepatitis, for vaccination and establishing the viral load, Dr. Nabadda said during the launch of the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programme organized by the Uganda Medical Laboratory Technology Association (UMLTA) here Wednesday. The CPD has been rolled out to 112 districts in the country.

Brenda Mushabe, the UMLTA President, noted that the CPD programme is intended to improve laboratory professionalism since it is critical in shaping the healthcare delivery systems and vital in disease detection and follow-up of treatment outcomes in hospitals and health centres.

She said this year's CPD, is focusing on Hepatitis B, customer care and ethics and professionalism. Hepatitis B is priority because it is a major health problem in Uganda with a prevalence rate of 10 per cent, or 3.5 million people in the population.


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