Press Statement; The Ethics Case

28th November, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Infants put in Harm’s way in a bid to prove a scientific belief!

Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) and Partners have today filed a case in the High Court of Uganda challenging the act of subjecting helpless children between 28 days to 12 years of age to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in a bid prove a scientific belief.

This research allegedly seeks to establish whether the use of oxygen is necessary in the treatment of Oxygen deficiency in children. This research process deliberately denies oxygen to these vulnerable children suffering from breathing complications (oxygen deficiency) and in some cases subjected to very low levels of oxygen which is highly life threatening.

It is reported that this trial has led to allegedly 41% deaths in Mulago National Referral Hospital alone, but the research is still being carried out in Mbale, Soroti and Jinja regional referral hospitals.

As Human rights activists, we believe that this infringes fundamental rights including the right to life and yet children are protected under Article 34(2) of the constitution which states that children should not be denied basic needs due to a belief. We believe that the nation has to pick interest in these life threatening scientific trials and the state should invoke its duty to protect citizens subjected to such harsh trials.

The clinical trial is conducted way below the ethical standards for research and contravenes the constitution and laws of Uganda. Worse still, the research did not seek for a Certificate of Approval from National Drug Authority (NDA) which is a requirement prior to conducting any clinical trial on pharmaceuticals in Uganda. 

Such clinical trails are against the set clinical practice guidelines and guidelines of medical practice and research both locally and internationally, given the fact that the doctors swear an oath to do no harm.

We therefore ask the high Court for declarations, interim orders, and permanent relief to stop the conduct of this clinical trial which we deem unethical and falling below the constitutional values of this country. We further ask the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Council (UMDPC) and the Uganda human rights commission to investigate the human rights and ethical implications of the clinical trial.

FOR MORE INFORMATION please call 0414532283 or write to info@cehurd.org and copy nsereko@cehurd.org

CELEBRATING 10 YEARS OF SOCIAL JUSTICE IN HEALTH

On a beautiful Thursday evening of 7th November 2019, Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) had its 10 years’ celebrations at Sheraton Kampala Hotel in a memorable event for not only making 10 years of existence but for emerging as a key player in the field of advancing human rights and social justice in health; with a reputation for using bold strategies to realize and expand the right to health.

Clearly this milestone could not have been achieved overnight, it has taken 10 years of persistence, hard work, focus, determination and a clear vision to come this far in pursuit for justice in the health sector. This is backed by Prof. Joe Oloka Onyango, the day’s Keynote speakers’ description of CEHURD as “a vibrant, vivacious and vigorous organisation”.

For years, CEHURD has trodden dusty roads to reach far-end vulnerable communities as well as high-end policy making levels driven by a passion to bridge health gaps.

“What inspired me to embark on this journey was my Mother-a retired nurse and the challenges she went through while practicing, secondly the 3 fine gentlemen Prof. Kasimbazi, Prof. Segane and Prof. Ben who were of great influence and lastly the question of how Lawyers could use the constitutional language to demand for an improved health system” – Mr. Mulumba Moses, Executive Director CEHURD.

It is of no wonder that CEHURD has transformed the advocacy environment around the right to health, communities have become more aware of their right to a proper health care system and in turn demand for it. CEHURD not only deals in legal practice but also translates the theoretical and conceptual health issues into research and advocacy.

“I do not take the 10 years of CEHURD for granted, when two of my former students came to my office and said they had started an organisation aimed at promoting the right to health and human rights, as a founding teacher of Health & the Law and Health law and Policy at Makerere University, I was excited.” – Prof. Ben Twinomugisha, Board Chairperson CEHURD.                                                                                

It was on this day (7th November), that CEHURD launched its Strategic Plan (2020-2024) –Rebound | Innovate | Sustain, which is a compass to the five years ahead.

“It is not only a celebration for the past, it is a celebration for the future now that the strategic plan has been launched. We very much look forward to working closely with CEHURD in these coming years especially in areas of Sexual Reproductive Health Rights” –Mr. Ola Hallgren, Head of Cooperation Embassy of Sweden.

Congratulations CEHURD! To more years of impactful existence.

By Jacqueline Twemanye