The importation of prostitutes, or commercial sex workers in Nwoya district in northern Uganda has been attributed to a rise in hepatitis B cases in the region prompting the government officials to advise health care workers to test patients for the serious viral disease, according to a New Vision report.
“Health workers, please make it mandatory for everyone who visits your health facility to undergo a hepatitis B examination if you want to fight and get rid of this deadly virus effectively,” Nwoya district Member of Parliament, Richard Todwong advised.
According to Todwong, local bars and other establishments have been hiring prostitutes from neighboring districts and suggests this may be the source of the outbreak in Nwoya.
Nwoya district secretary for health and education Geoffrey Ojok says, “As a result of the outbreak, the district instituted a task force to carry out massive mobilization and sensitization of the community to encourage people to go for hepatitis B medical tests and treatment.”
Hepatitis B is a liver disease that results from infection with the Hepatitis B virus. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness. Hepatitis B is usually spread when blood, semen, or another body fluid from a person infected with the Hepatitis B virus enters the body of someone who is not infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
This can happen through sexual contact with an infected person or sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment. Hepatitis B can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby at birth.
Hepatitis B can be either acute or chronic. Acute Hepatitis B virus infection is a short-term illness that occurs within the first 6 months after someone is exposed to the Hepatitis B virus. Acute infection can — but does not always — lead to chronic infection. Chronic Hepatitis B virus infection is a long-term illness that occurs when the Hepatitis B virus remains in a person’s body. Chronic Hepatitis B is a serious disease that can result in long-term health problems, and even death.
The best way to prevent Hepatitis B is by getting vaccinated.