Recognizing the risk of Hepatitis B infection in the country, the Association of Uganda University Sports (AUUS) has issued strong directive to all universities for the 2017 Ndejje Inter University Games to ensure immunization of all their athletes and officials.
Universities will consequently be required to produce Hepatitis immunization certificates for all participants to access accreditation to the Games or risk expulsion from the Games. The Local Organising Committee has however issued a circular to participating universities to that effect.
The directive was issued yesterday during AUUS Technical meeting at Ndejje University Luwero Main Campus. The university delegates prior to the meeting inspected the sports facilities that will host the 17th edition of the AUUS games due December 16-21, 2017.
The development is a follow-up of AUUS passed resolution urging member universities to develop coordinated strategies for diagnosing and preventing the spread of Hepatitis B infection during university sports activities.
“Hepatitis B is a big threat in the country which should be taken seriously and avoided in the games. Health should be concern for all people. Prevention is better than cure Therefore all participating universities should comply with the directive or affected athletes risk expulsion,” AUUS President Peninah Kabenge announced.
She advised the universities to test and immunise their athletes and officials before for the December Games.
It’s estimated that approximately 3.5 million (10%) people in Uganda out of the total population of 35 million are infected with the Hepatitis B virus. 30% (1,050,000) of those infected are chronically ill and require treatment.
Hepatitis B is transmitted through blood and infected body fluids. This can occur through; direct blood-to-blood contact, unprotected sex, from an infected woman to her newborn baby during the delivery process and contaminated skin piercing instruments e.g. needles.
Other possible routes of infection include sharing sharp instruments such as razors, toothbrushes or earrings, body piercing, tattooing and acupuncture are also possible routes of infection unless sterile needles are used.
Hepatitis B is NOT however transmitted casually. It cannot be spread through sneezing, coughing, hugging or eating food prepared by someone who is infected with hepatitis B.
Everyone is however at some risk for a hepatitis B infection, but some groups are at higher risk because of their occupation or life choices.