By Max Patrick Ocaido
Members of Parliament have shunned the African Hepatitis Summit 2019 organized by Ministry of Health at Speke Resort Munyonyo.
Health minister Dr. Jane Aceng on Tuesday expressed disappointment with the Ugandan MPs for shunning the African summit organized in their own country yet other MPs and ministers from other countries were in attendance in a summit that kicked off today, Tuesday.
The African Hepatitis Summit convened by the Ministry of Health and hosted by National Organization for People Living with Hepatitis B (NOPLHB) will take place from 18-20 June 2019 at Speke Resort Munyonyo, Kampala.
“It is unfortunate that we are hosting the African Hepatitis Summit and our own MPs are not in attendance yet there are several MPs and ministers from different countries,” Aceng said on the floor of Parliament.
She added that the ministry sent invitations to the members especially MPs on the Budget and Health committees but none of them appeared for the summit whose attendance was by registration.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga was equally unaware of the ongoing summit and was surprised that the MPs were invited but did not attend the summit.
African Hepatitis Summit is the first ever summit under the theme “Eliminating Viral Hepatitis in Africa, Implementing the viral Hepatitis Strategy” which is intended to strengthen the broader Hepatitis community by sharing ideas, experiences and best practices in addressing the many challenges of viral hepatitis in the region. The summit will also play as a platform for African countries to discuss best practices and lessons learnt in the fight against Viral Hepatitis.
According to the Uganda HIV impact assessment survey (UPHIA 2016), the prevalence of Hepatitis B among adults aged 15-49 years old stands at 4.1%. The survey further indicates a region variation with the northern region having the highest prevalence of up to 4.6% and the south-western region with the lowest at 0.8%.