Reducing Abortion Stigma Amongst Secondary Schools Through Music, Dance and Drama

5On 24th July 2015, Centre for Health Human Rights and Development (CEHURD)in partnership with the District Education offices of Kiboga and Kyankwanzi and Our Lady Technical and Vocational institute with support from HIVOS engaged students in a competitive Music Dance and Drama Festival as a way of tackling abortion stigma.

The activity that was well organised by CEHURD’s structure of Community Health advocates attracted a total of 9 schools with four of these actively participating in plays, original composition and traditional dances. Students educated others on dangers of unsafe abortions, the need to seek and access contraceptive use, importance of using condoms and abstinence from sex among others. They cautioned fellow students and the general about secretly aborting and using local herbs that have ended up killing many of their friends.

This festival was equally an opportunity for health service providers to educate the students and the communities about the myths and misconceptions of abortion, family planning services available at the different health facilities in the two districts and health workers cautioned parents, students and fellow professionals, to ensure that sexual reproductive health services are sought and provided.

“It has come to our notice that service providers are not confidential about people’s information. This has scared girls and women away from accessing sexual and reproductive health rights services in different facilities. We appeal to women and girls here to come back to the facilities and ensure that they seek and access these services” cautioned Sr Veronica Masanja(Senior Clinical Officer, Nyamiringa Health Centre II)

The impact of the messages, that were well crafted by the students to pass on Sexual and Reproductive Health issues could be felt in the audiences. Nankinga, a lady in her late 40s acknowledged the great talent the young people portrayed during the competitions, but most importantly how well they managed to pass on the messages. “I see so many girls from this village, who sneak and go to quack midwives to abort, that use funny metallic instruments that have even rusted, girls should take these messages seriously.’ emphasised Ms.Nankinga who says she works in a retail shop in the town of Kiboga.
Hired professional judges gave judgement on who and which school best gave out the message of the day in harmony with the theme (SRH; MY CHOICE) .Katoma Secondary school emerged the best and was awarded with a plaque by Eng Musisi, the guest of Honor District.

With the overwhelming support from the locals to ensure the event was a success, a sustainability plan was idealised for the community to own up this initiative. After the event, the team from CEHURD headed by Mr. Mulumba the Executive Director, engaged the local leaders of Kiboga and Kyankwanzi in order to have a sustainable plan with them for the activities CEHURD is holding in the two districts.
The meeting highlighted expectations from both teams and streamlined the relationship and realistic support to be provided by the team from CEHURD but ownership of the projects by the communities and there leaders stood out clearly, as CEHURD emphasised that these projects need continuity and sensitisation had to continue through their support.
By:

Margaret Katasi and Nakibuuka Noor

Media Call for Grant Application 2015

MEDIA CALL 2015- CEHURD

This media call for investigative story ideas seeks to set the regional SRHR agenda for discussion,to improve visibility of Sexual and Reproductive Health challenges in the East African region and to build a class of media people that can report in an informed and objective manner.
The objective of this call is to increase documentation of Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights and how far governments have gone in upholding their obligations to protect, fulfill and respect SRHRs in the East Africa region.
THE SPECIFIC AREAS OF FOCUS INCLUDE;
The state of maternal health in your country;
Legal and policy framework of abortion in your country;
Barriers to accessing SRH services among the youth and, strategies or initiatives to address these barriers;
Attitudes and practices (social norms) of abortion in your country.
Or any other story ideas in the area of SRHR that may have a direct or indirect bearing on the impact of unsafe abortion in any East African Country

Budget Allocation; A Real Enemy to the Success of The Right to Health in Uganda

Juliana for Blog“Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them.”-Albert Einstein. This notion rhymes well with the trend taken by civil society organizations in Uganda. They have won the hats of intellectuals and not geniuses, in solving human rights related problems. This they have done through empowering communities to demand for rights, developed research programs, and litigated in the areas of health among others, While these interventions are necessary to address some key underlying issues of human rights abuses, it could be improved by first tackling the root cause of limited success of human rights.
It is not surprising that many of the human rights violations that call for the need for civil society to intervene, are mainly due to the limited government budgetary resources attributed to key sectors such as health, education and the judiciary. One of the key issues that have been discussed and strategies developed by CEHURD a civil society organisation committed to social justice in health, is the budget allocation to the health sector.
An analysis of the budgetary allocations to the Health Sector shows a 5% increment of the budgetary allocations to health in the FY 2015/2016 compared to FY 2014/2015. In April 2001, the African Union Heads of State, including the Ugandan President, met in Abuja, Nigeria and pledged to increase government funding of the health sector to at least 15% of the national budget. Despite this commitment however, Uganda’s allocation to the health sector for the past 5 years stagnantly remained between 7-9%. This is a clear indication that either there is a lack of political will to realize the enjoyment of the right to health by its citizens or that it has failed on its commitment made in 2001 at Abuja. It is no wonder that the sector is constantly ailed with shortage of medicines supply, low remuneration for medical staff, low staffing in public health centers, poor health facilities all over the country among others.
The continued limited allocation of the national budget to the health sector coupled with resultant human rights violations (that obviously occur due to the limited budget) saw CEHURD and others institute a case to try to remedy the situation. The case filed against Wakiso District Local Government (CEHURD, Emmanuella Anzoyo, suing through next friend Christine Munduru & anor v Wakiso District Local Government & Medical Superintendent, Entebbe General Hospital)highlights of the Entebbe General Hospital, which is located in Wakiso District to stalk and provide free rabies medicine to individuals bitten by stray animals. This case highlights a story of an 8 year old, Emmanuella Anzoyo who was bitten by a stray dog in Kasenyi (one of the suburbs along Entebbe road). Her mother was quick to take her to Entebbe General Hospital for treatment. The poor woman (who has no job and under the care of good Samaritans) was asked to pay Ugx. 250,000 for the dosage of the anti-rabies vaccine for her daughter. It should be noted that once this vaccine is not administered in the first ten days, it is automatic that the patient dies.
How does this relate to limited budgetary allocations? A close look at the sectorial budgetary allocations, reveals that National Medical Stores funding has remained the same as the last financial year. This is so despite the recent 2014 census reports that portrays an increase in the national population to 37 million people. The injustice in this case lies in the fact that the rabies vaccine was not economically accessible to young Emmanuelle, since it was too expensive. Her mother needed money that she did not have, making the medicine inaccessible to her, thereby amounting to a violation of Emmanuelle’s right to health. With the continued budgetary allocations to health, there will be continued limited access to medicine, and hence the subsequent achievement of the right to health in Uganda this financial year, as there will be limited resources to work with.
It is the role of governments to promote fulfill and protect individuals’ right to health. This stretches to the government’s responsibility to ensure that essential medicines such as the rabies vaccine are available and accessible by the people. Once government falls short of its aforementioned obligation, it is the role of civil society to awaken it to this. One way could be making a shadow budget that is aimed at ensuring the respect and fulfilment of all human rights. Additionally Civil Society could empower communities to demand for involvement in health program implementation, planning and monitoring.
This calls for venturing into budget related advocacy at both local and national level, so as to prepare for the FY 2016/2017. This has to be a concerted effort of civil society, and not by just a few members. There is also a need for capacity building within civil society as regards to budget advocacy so as to create a concerted, timely, and effective movement. If not, we will continue to bandage up the wounds, without removing the log that we keep stumbling over.
It is now time for civil society to wear the hat of the genius as Einstein proposes, and find more permanent ways of preventing recurring human rights abuses. If we continue to do things the same way, we will continue to yield the same results. Now is the time to step away from the traditional forms of advocacy and embrace a transformational tool-budget advocacy, by all civil society members.
By;
Kisakye Juliana
Centre for Health Human Rights and Development-CEHURD (Intern 2015)

Family Compensated through CEHURD’s efforts

August 14th, 2015
For immediate release
Press release

family compesatedNakaseke District Local Government Demonstrates Accountability for health rights violations in Nakaseke District Hospital

Kampala – Uganda -Today, Mr. Mugerwa David and his three children have received a cheque worth UGX 9, 400,000 from the Chief Administration Officer of Nakaseke District Local Government. This payment is partial compensation of the UGX 35,000,000 awarded to this family by the High Court of Uganda for violation of human and maternal health rights of Ms. Nanteza Irene who died in labour due to the negligent acts of employees of Nakaseke District Hospital.

In May 2012, The Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD), Mugerwa David and his four Children dragged Nakaseke District Hospital to court over failure to provide basic Emergency obstetric Care to Ms. Nanteza Irene (Now deceased) while she was in labour at the Hospital. On the 5th of May, 2012 Nanteza was taken to Nakaseke hospital by her husband, Mugerwa David to deliver her baby. While at the hospital, a nurse detected that the deceased suffered an obstructed labour that required urgent intervention by a doctor. The doctor on duty only arrived at the hospital after over eight hours when it was already too late for any medical intervention to reverse the haemorrhage that had arisen due to a ruptured uterus. Ms. Nanteza Irene died.

On the 30th of April, 2015, Hon. Justice Benjamin Kabiito while delivering his judgment to the case concluded that Nanteza’s human and maternal health rights, right to basic medical care and the rights of her children and husband were violated. Nakaseke District Local government was found vicariously liable for the acts of the doctor and the hospital administrator who failed to ensure the provision of emergency obstetric care urgently required by Ms. Nanteza Irene. The Court then awarded general damages worth UGX 35,000,000 against Nakaseke District Local Government to Mr. Mugerwa and his children for the pain and loss of their loved one.

This case demonstrates to Ugandans that local governments can be held responsible for their inaction, or failure to protect human rights, as well as the infringements on human rights. As agents of central government, Local governments are supposed to take appropriate measures to prevent, punish, investigate, or redress harm caused by their employees that could lead to a violation of human rights as guaranteed by the 1995 constitution of Uganda.

“CEHURD applauds Nakaseke District Local Government for taking urgent steps to meet the orders issued by Court.” Notes Mr. Mulumba Moses, Executive Director of CEHURD. “We also take cognizance of the improvements in Nakaseke District Hospital after the determination of the case, we have received reports that Nakaseke district Hospital has now got a new outpatient department, two theaters, and three isolation wards and is putting in place measures to supervise health workers among others. This is good progress; NO MOTHER SHOULD DIE WHILE GIVING BIRTH.” Mulumba adds.

For more information contact info@cehurd.org, nsereko@cehurd.org, kwagala@cehurd.org, katasi@cehurd.org or call 0414 532283

http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/672272-district-compensates-family-of-dead-patient.html