State health minister in charge of general duties Sarah Opendi in a press conference held on Sunday at the Ministry of Health headquarters in Kampala named eight private hospitals that have been cleared to provide Hepatitis B vaccine.
“The general public is encouraged to receive Hepatitis B vaccination from only the accredited private facilities and government facilities as investigations into the matter take course,” Ms Opendi said
The hospitals are Nakasero, Rubaga, Case, Norvik, IHK, Mengo, Kibuli and Nsambya.
The minister also revealed that the Ministry has instructed National Drug Authority to recall the 10ml vial of Hepatitis B vaccine from Serum Institute of India from all private health facilities and to test the falsified products to establish the contents of the vaccine.
Hon. Opendi also appealled to general public to: Be vigilant and provide any information about suspicious Hepatitis B vaccine, Report any camps for Hepatitis B vaccine being organized in your community and to refrain from purchasing drugs from unlicensed suppliers
The measures follows the discovery National Drug Authority of falsified Hepatitis B vaccines from eight health facilities including: 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 Buganda Road.
Dr Medard Bitekyerezo, the NDA board chairman, revealed that NDA is working with the World Health Organisation to establish the contents of the falsified vaccine. He says preliminary investigations indicate the vaccines are not harmful.
According to the Uganda Population-based HIV Impact Assessment Survey (UPHIA), the prevalence of Hepatitis B infection among adults in Uganda stands at 4.3% (5.6% among men and 3.1% among women).
Hepatitis B prevalence was highest in Northern region with 4.6% in mid North, 4.4% in North East and 3.8% in West Nile. Hepatitis B infection was lower in the rest of the country with a range of 0.8% in South West region to 2.7% in East Central region.