Health News

 
 
 

55 Percent of Children in Central Uganda Are Anaemic-Survey

LUWERO

At least 55 percent of the children in the districts in central Uganda are anaemic, the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey has revealed. The figure represents districts classified as Central II in the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (2016).

The districts include Luweero, Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Buikwe, Buvuma, Mityana, Mubende, Kayunga, Kyankwanzi and Mukono. In all these areas, it was established that anaemia prevalence among children between 6-59 months stands at 55 percent slightly above the national prevalence rate of 53 percent.

The findings were released to the districts at Naiga Hotel in Luweero town by Uganda Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday. The survey also indicates that anaemia prevalence rates among women between 15-49 years stand at 32 percent which is the same as the national rate and at 14 percent for men, which is slightly lower than national prevalence rate of 16 percent.

Wilson Nyegenye, the Principal Statistician of Uganda Bureau of Statistics explained that although the Demographic and Health Survey does capture the causes of such high prevalence rates, the problem is blamed on poor feeding.

Ruth Namusisi Kasule, the Health Educator in Charge of nutrition in Luweero district blames the problem on high poverty levels especially in rural areas where families are forced to sell off all agricultural produce without consideration to the feeding and nutritional needs of the family.

Namusisi, however, says that they formed a district committee comprising all sectors to combine efforts to promote nutritional in homes.

She added that they also working with Operation Wealth Creation to identify the most affected families and provide enough seedlings to them for planting to fight food insecurity in homes among other strategies.

Esther Namugwanya, a resident of Luweero town, says that even those families who have food lack information on what to eat and how to balance the diets.

Luweero District Agriculture officer Sarah Namubiru says that they are now sensitizing farmers to grow drought-resistant and improved crops which are a source of nutrients and how to respond to climate change which has partly caused food insecurity.

According to the World Health Organisation, anaemia is a condition in which the number of red blood cells or their oxygen-carrying capacity is insufficient to meet a person's physiologic needs. Iron deficiency is thought to be the most common cause of anaemia.

In its severe form, anaemia is associated with fatigue, weakness, dizziness and drowsiness. Pregnant women and children are particularly vulnerable.

The 2016 UDHS also indicated that anaemia is more common in children from the poorest households (66 percent) and those whose mothers have no education (62 percent). Anaemia in Children has slightly increased since 2011 where 49 percent to 53 percent in 2016 of children who were anaemic. It also indicates that anaemia among women has increased from 23 percent in 2011 to 32 percent in 2016.

 
 

8 Private Facilities Cleared to Administer Hepatitis B Vaccine

 
 
 

KAMPALA

The Ministry of Health has cleared eight private health facilities in Kampala to administer Hepatitis B vaccines, as investigation into counterfeited vaccines continues.

The private health facilities that have been cleared to provide the Hep B Vaccine are: Nsambya Hospital, Kibuli Hospital, Mengo Hospital, Rubaga Hospital, International Hospital Kampala (IHK), Norvik Hospital, Case Hospital and Nakasero Hospital.

National Drug Authority (NDA) during its routine post-marketing surveillance encountered falsified Hepatitis B vaccines from eight health facilities in Mbarara, Mbale, Wakiso and Kampala districts.

The facilities are; Mbarara Community Hospital, Divine Mercy, Mayanja Memorial, Family Doctors Clinic Ntungamo, Mbarara City Clinic, UMC Hospital Bukoto, Malcolm Health care Kisaasi, and Kampala Medical Chambers on Buganda Road.

Hepatitis B Vaccine is administered to healthy people to immunise them against Hepatitis B virus.

According to a Minister of Health for General duties, Sarah Opendi, Government has stopped all other private health facilities from administering the vaccine as investigations are going on.

"We shall advise the public on other facilities that have been cleared for Hepatitis B vaccination in two weeks," Opendi says in a statement.

District Health Officers (DHOs) and Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) have been instructed to ensure that the directive stopping private facilities from administering the vaccine is complied with.

Immunisation of children as part of the routine practice will continue. The Ministry has called on the general public to be vigilant.

According to the statement, there are a number of registered brands for Hepatitis B Vaccine for supply to Uganda from various manufacturers worldwide represented by local pharmaceutical companies. These include Biological E represented by Gittoes, Glaxo SmithKline represented by Eris Ltd, Human Biologicals Institute represented by TATA (U), LG Life Sciences, Sanofi Pasteur & Pasteur Merieux represented by Laborex, Serum Institute of India represented by Norvik Enterprises, and Shantha Biotec represented by Laborex.

The brand that has been falsified is from Serum Institute of India. The vaccines from the company are available in two registered pack sizes i.e. one-millilitre vial and 10-millilitre multi-dose vials. The one ml vial is supplied to the private market and is identified by a white label with two green bands at the top and bottom part of the label, respectively.

The 10 ml multi-dose vial is supplied to the public (Government) sector and is identified by a white label with two purple bands at the top and bottom part of the label, respectively. The vial supplied to Public Health Facilities also bears the words, "Government of Uganda, Not for sale".

 
 

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