NDA carried out an investigation and intercepted counterfeit vaccines from Serum Institute of India in private facilities in January and February. All the samples which were picked from Mbarara showed inconsistencies.
Health specialists fear that if the con artists continue giving people fake vaccine, more people could die and the disease could spread further.
“We are calling upon people who got the vaccine beginning of this year to go back and be vaccinated again from Government facilities or the private facilities which were cleared,” says Fredrick Ssekyana, the NDA spokesperson.
Most private facilities in the country are offering fake vaccines, it is only Case Hospital, International Hospital Kampala, Norvik Hospital and Nakasero Hospital with genuine vaccines.
Ssekyana advises people who go back for the vaccine to first look at the vial, if you are getting it from the private hospitals and it is 10ml, chances of it being fake are high. Private facilities are supposed to have 1ml ampoule, which has two green bands on the label.
The genuine 10ml vial of Hepatitis B vaccine from Serum Institute of India should at least have:
A manufacturing and expiry date with a shelf-life of three years
Two purple bands on the label, one on the top and the other is at the bottom.
Statistics from Ministry of Health show that Uganda is one of the countries most affected by Hepatitis B.
About 3.5 million (10% of population) are living with chronic hepatitis B infection. Highest infection rates are in Karamoja (23.9%), northern Uganda (20.7%), West Nile (18.5%) and western region (10.0%).
Central region has 6% and south-western (3.8%) have lower rates.