23-year-old Pamela Akello, a resident of Alik Village in Ngeta Sub County in Lira district is struggling to survive following expulsion from her family for testing Hepatitis B positive. Trouble for Akello started in 2015 tested positive for Hepatitis B during a screening exercise at Lira regional hospital.
She was immediately enrolled on treatment. According to Akello, on her return home, she was expelled by her family. She claims that her mother, Helen Odongo even stopped their neighbors from giving her any kind of help. Left without any alternative, Akello decided to stay with her 75-year-old uncle, Obongo Kwirino.
Akello explains that on completion of her treatment, she was declared negative but her family declined to take her back. “I am now stuck here with my uncle in the house you are seeing” she told URN while pointing at her uncle’s house. Her mother, Helen Odongo denies any involvement in expelling her daughter from home.
Odongo claims that she was away by the time Akello’s hut was razed down. She instead referred URN to her husband, Joseph Odongo who also denied demolishing Akello’s hut. Patrick Owach, the brother to Okello says they have tried to settle the matter between Akello and her family in vain. He explains that both Akello’s father and mother don’t want her.
Hepatitis B is a viral infection that attacks the liver and can cause both acute and chronic disease. According to WHO, the virus is transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person.
WHO notes that an estimated 240 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis B. More than 680,000 of these die annually due to complications of hepatitis B, including cirrhosis and liver cancer. Hepatitis B can be prevented by available safe and effective vaccine.