Kampala University will require all its students to undergo Hepatitis B testing and vaccination before they return for the second semester for the 2017/2018 academic.
According to a December 06th notice issued by Moses Nyamurasha, the Director Kampala University Luweero Campus, students will only be registered upon presenting a Hepatitis B vaccination certificate.
“There is one week tolerance that will be given to everybody as there will be medical officers doing the testing for fresh students around campus for the first two weeks,” reads the notice in part.
He said those under Hepatitis B treatment will be required to report to the university nurse, adding that their cases will be handled with the highest level of confidentiality.
A student said on condition of anonymity that the compulsory Hepatitis B testing and vaccination infringes on his health rights, saying he wouldn’t want to test under duress.
I am telling you the day I test and I find that I am Hepatitis B positive, it’s the same day I will start falling sick,” he said.
Innocent Mutamba, the deputy guild speaker Kampala University said that the directive hasn’t gone down well with students.
He said they sought explanation from the director of Luweero Campus who told them that it was a directive from the health ministry to vaccinate all university students.
“The Director told us that government is likely to close our University in case we do not meet the requirement,” said Mutamba.
On average Hepatitis B testing costs Shillings 30,000 in various clinics in Kampala. Each of the three doses, which are administered at different intervals, costs a minimum of Shillings 40,000.
Hepatitis B is a viral infection that attacks the liver and can cause both acute and chronic disease. It is transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person.
It is not yet clear what prompted the university to introduce the compulsory Hepatitis B testing and vaccination for students.
Although the notice is currently pinned at the Kampala University Luweero Campus, sources claim that the policy applies to all campuses including the main campus based in Ggaba, a Kampala suburb.