Problem and Instructions for the 9th National Inter-University Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition Out

Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) thanks universities for registering for the 9th National Inter-University Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition. This year’s moot competition is taking place under the theme, “Gender Discrimination: The Plight of Pregnant Girls in School”.

CEHURD is happy to announce that the problem and instructions for the 9th Annual CEHURD moot court competition is out. The problem and instructions for participating universities can be downloaded below.

We wish all the participants the best of luck.

Download CEHURD Moot Competition Problem 2022

Download CEHURD Moot Competition Instructions 2022

Breastfeeding Crowns the Joy of Motherhood

I have personally breastfed my first child up to 1 year and 6 months. My current baby is 1 year and 3 months old, he is still breastfeeding and I intend to breastfeed him for up to 2 years. I am enjoying the benefits of this as they both rarely catch common illnesses. I recognize that I am privileged to work for an organisation that makes allowances for me to travel with my child so that breastfeeding can continue. That is why I call upon the government to mandate workplaces to cater to breastfeeding mothers. 

– sARAH AKAMPURIRA

It’s incredible how happy and fulfilled a mother feels as she watches her child’s development from birth. This growth is usually facilitated by breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is more than just the ability to access one’s right to food, one’s right to health, or the performance of the duty of motherhood. Breast milk contains more components than any formula, food, or mixture on earth combined.

The bond a mother forms with her infant when breastfeeding has enormous advantages that assist the child as an adult. While nursing, a mother can quickly determine whether her child is healthy, sick, happy, or upset without using any words. The majority of the time, midwives tell us that talking to our children while we breastfeed is important because even when they are unable to speak back, they understand. This is crucial for the growth and development of children.

Did you know, however, that the benefits of breastfeeding endure longer for both the mother and the baby’s health the longer the child is breastfed?

Many scientists agree that there are numerous advantages to breastfeeding a baby exclusively for the first six months up to two years of age. Antibodies found in breast milk lower the incidence of ear infections, diarrhea, allergies, and asthma. They continue to note that babies who are breastfed have stronger immune systems and are less likely to require hospitalisation.

Appropriate diet, consumption of fluids like oatmeal, water, and fruit juice, good health practices, and the support of the mother’s entire family are all necessary for a mother to properly breastfeed her child and fulfill this divinely mandated duty. A mother will always find time for her baby to breastfeed, connect, chat, laugh, and experience the joy of motherhood despite all the other responsibilities of any adult woman, talk of professional/career aspirations outside the household setting, the desire to achieve career goals, not to mention the pressure that comes with it.

In commemoration of the recently concluded World Breast Feeding week under the theme ‘Step up for Breastfeeding’, I urge the government, the private sector, and other companies to take into consideration creating a nursery or special space at the office. In these spaces, moms can sit for a 20–30-minute break and breastfeed their children. This improves performance, stabilises the workplace, and keeps a mother’s mental health in check because she won’t have to worry about leaving her three-and-a-half-month-old at home with a babysitter for more than 10 hours while she is at work.

It is true that when you strive to eat and drink more to ensure that you have enough breast milk for the baby, this can sometimes result in weight gain. Instead of cutting back on drinks or placing limitations, increase your exercise to stay healthy and fit. So that you may continue to be an example to other mothers. Shut your ears to any unfavourable advice, especially when they say things like, “the baby is now a big boy or girl and he can do away with breast milk at six or eight months.” Continue breastfeeding your child and only introduce supplemental feeds once they are at least six months old. Also, make the most of any free time you have to do so. As a mother, you benefit in two ways: your child grows up healthy, and you lower your risk of developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and other cancers. It is a twofold gain.

Never forget the joy of parenthood, and once the breastfeeding phase is over, you will work on it harder. Don’t worry about the peer pressure about how you are gaining weight and, from what I hear, growing out of shape.

I have personally breastfed my first child up to one year and six months. My current baby is one year and three months old, he is still breastfeeding and I intend to breastfeed him for up to two years. I am enjoying the benefits of this as they both rarely catch common illnesses. I recognize that I am privileged to work for an organisation that makes allowances for me to travel with my child so that breastfeeding can continue. That is why I call upon the government to mandate workplaces to cater to breastfeeding mothers. 

Last but not least, I urge all women who are able to do so to prolong their baby’s breastfeeding experience by delaying early weaning and to take advantage of the positive impacts breastfeeding has on both the mother and the child.

Sarah Akampurira is the Programme Coordinator, Community Empowerment at CEHURD, and a breastfeeding advocate.

CASE BRIEF; UGANDA V KATO FREDERICK Criminal Case 56 of 2020

Representing a Doctor caught up in the Justice System for Provision of Post-Abortion Care

KATIA ALUPO OLARO
Programme Associate, Strategic Litigation

In April 2020, the accused was arrested for allegedly committing the offence of Supply of Drugs to procure abortion contrary to Section 143 of the Penal Code Act, Cap. 120 of the Laws of Uganda. He was arraigned in court, formally charged and subsequently remanded to Kitalya Maximum Security Prison, Wakiso District, Uganda. This affected the accused’s work and the eventual closure of his pharmacy.

Download case brief to learn more about the case;

Call for a Consultant to Conduct a Mid-Term Review of the Implementation Of CEHURD’s Strategic Plan 2020-2024

The Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) has been implementing its five-year strategic plan (2020 – 2024) since January 2020. Strategic plan implementation is now 2.5 years and due for a mid-term review to assess progress and whether we are on course. CEHURD wishes to engage the services of a consultant with expertise in formulation and evaluation of strategic plans with an advocacy focus and who has a good understanding of issues of health, human rights sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).

Please find below the Details and Terms of Reference;

Sickle Cell Disease: Effective Treatment And Care Can Save Lives

Sickle cell disease is incurable. However, if detected early, the symptoms can be minimised. The greatest burden of sickle cell disease is in Sub-Saharan Africa, in Uganda, estimates suggest that 15,000 babies are born each year with sickle cell disease.  In cases of married couples, majority of the partners do not know of their partners’ genotypes which clearly points to the fact that Sickle cell disease screening before or even after marriage is not prioritized there’s a need for the government intervention and action.

By Pauline Namuli

Sickle cell disease continues to claim lives in Uganda but with effective treatment and care of patients, a number of lives can be saved. People with sickle cell disease suffer from a number of complications, including anaemia, life-threatening bacterial infections, strokes, and general organ failure, and may also endure severe pain also known as pain crises.  Symptoms differ from individual to person, the condition has a severe impact on the sicklers ranging from their education, work, and psychosocial development. The disease is a hereditary condition that affects 20 per cent of the Ugandan population. Currently, around 33,000 babies are born annually with the disease of which, 80 per cent before the age of five years. Sickle cell disease is incurable. However, if detected early, the symptoms can be minimised.

Worldwide, Sickle cell disease contributes a significant burden that is not amply addressed. The greatest burden of sickle cell disease is in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Uganda, estimates suggest that 15,000 babies are born each year with sickle cell disease. The world health Organization has indicated the need to improve disease prevention, awareness, and early detection. The Ministry of Health has made significant strides in addressing the sickle cell disease burden by introducing newborn screening programs in selected districts with the highest disease burden. The increased attention is aimed at reducing sickle cell mortality while increasing care and management outcomes. Sickle Cell disease care and management go beyond dealing with the challenge of the disease but also includes dealing with society-related challenges. The people are often stigmatized and discriminated against largely because of myths/beliefs associated with the disease and this often forces families to hide their sick and this is driven. Stigmatization and discrimination are largely a result of ignorance about the disease. While studies have demonstrated that many individuals have heard about Sickle Cell disease this information has not been heard from a health worker. This increases the proportion of spread of nonprofessionally verifiable information which perpetuates stigmatization and discrimination. It is therefore important to have information from professionals on causes, signs and symptoms, and prevention strategies.

Screening services across the country still remain substantially low yet it clearly influences family decisions and subsequently control of the disease in the country. In cases of married couples, majority of the partners do not know of their partners’ genotypes which clearly points to the fact that Sickle cell disease screening before or even after marriage is not prioritized yet it may also influence personal or family decisions. To respond to this, it is imperative to increase access to screening services and information.

Treatment for Sickle cell disease continues to be a huge challenge. It’s important to note that the sickle cell treatment in Uganda is costly and a number of them cannot afford it. According to the Ministry of Health estimates, 80% of sickle cell disease patients die before the age of five as a result of medical complications, while the disease is responsible for around 16% of early infant mortality in the country.

In 2020, during the commemoration of World Sickle Cell Day, the ministry of health launched guidelines on sickle cell treatment to standardize the type of treatment given to patients by health personnel at certain points of care. At the launch, it was also revealed that it was in the final stages of adding the relatively new sickle cell drug hydroxyurea, which is also used in cancer treatment, to the list of essential drugs recommended for sickle cell patients. Currently, families caring for patients say the drug is still too expensive for many caretakers and patients. A 250mg target costs between UGX 1,000 to UGX 2,000 while a 500mg costs up to UGX 3,000 shillings. This requires an annual cost of about UGX 1,100,000, which is way beyond most people’s ability to pay.

Based on the information provided, there’s a need for the government intervention and action such as adding the primary drug for treatment on the essential medicines list as well as decreasing the drug price and making it more affordable for the patients so as to improve the quality of life for sickle cell patients and to reduce on their mortality rate.

The writer is an intern at Center for Health Human Rights and Development.