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  • Judiciary Endorses the Need for a Sexuality Education Policy in Uganda

    Kampala – Uganda. Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) with joy welcomes the long-awaited ruling from the High Court of Uganda at Kampala in the case of CEHURD vs. Attorney General & Family Life Network [Miscellaneous Cause No. 309 of 2016], commonly referred to as the Comprehensive Sexuality Education case. The High Court agreed with our submissions and the trial judge, Hon. Justice Lydia Mugambe, directed the Ministry of Education and Sports to develop a comprehensive sexuality education policy within two years, among other orders.

    Another point of contention in the case was the use of the term, “comprehensive” sexuality education. To this, Hon. Justice Mugambe stated that, “The inclusion or exclusion of the term ‘comprehensive’ is a simple matter of form that should never derail the substance of this process.”

    Through this judgement, Hon. Justice Mugambe upheld the fundamental human rights of all Ugandans to access health information on their sexuality.

    Background

    On the 18th day of November 2016, The Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) filed a case against the Attorney General, challenging the Ministry of Education and Sports’ ban on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), and their omission and delay to pass a policy on sexuality education as a violation of the right to access information contrary to Article 41 and the right to education contrary to article 30 and 34(2) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, 1995. 

    This case was premised on a resolution issued by the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda on 17th August 2016 directing the Ministry of Education and Sports to ban the teaching and training of CSE in Uganda. On 28th November 2016 the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development issued a press statement emphasizing to the public that the ban of CSE in Uganda was applicable in both school and non-school environments. This in effect halted the dissemination of all sexuality education in Uganda, leaving the population prey to unwanted pregnancies, STDs and STIs due to lack of information.

    In May 2018, the Ministry of Education and Sports finalized and passed the National Sexuality Education Framework (NSEF) which has never been implemented and actualised, three years since its development.

    Uganda, however, committed herself to formulating policies on comprehensive sexuality education in December 2013 under the Ministerial Commitment on Comprehensive Sexuality on sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents and young people in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA).

    Court ruling

    The High Court of Uganda through Lady Justice Lydia Mugambe upheld the rights of adolescents and ordered that;

    1. The Government’s inordinate delay and/or omission of over ten years to develop a comprehensive sexuality education policy in Uganda is a violation of Uganda’s obligations under international law and Articles 30,41 and 34(2) of the Constitution; Sections 4 (1) (c), (g) and (i) of the Children (Amendment) Act 2016; and Section 4(1) & (2) of the Education (pre-primary, primary and post primary) Act.
    • The Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Education and Sports should within two years develop a Comprehensive Sexuality Education Policy
    • The Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Education and Sports should identify and work with a breadth of relevant stakeholders and address all issues competently
    • The Attorney General should compile and submit a report to this Court every six months showing progress and implementation of the orders.

    Find full Press Statement here

  • Call for Participation in the 9th Annual National Inter-University Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition

    Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) invites different universities with schools/faculties of law in Uganda to participate in the 9th Annual National Inter-University Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition. The moot is scheduled to take place on 3rd – 4th  November 2022.

    The 9th Annual National Inter-University Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition is taking place under the theme, “Gender Discrimination: The Plight of Pregnant Girls in School”. Uganda has experienced an ever-growing number of teenage pregnancies exacerbated by the outbreak of COVID-19 and the lockdown that ensued. Many teenagers have been forced out of school while others have dropped out due to the stigma and discrimination they have faced. Their freedom from non-discrimination, as much as their right to education has therefore been violated. The moot has been designed to enable students to analyse the revised guidelines developed by the Ministry of Education and Sports for the prevention and management of teenage pregnancy in school settings in Uganda, and assess their legal impact on the right to Education through the use of a hypothetical moot problem that students shall use to participate in the moot.

    The main objective of the Moot is to train students in practical aspects of litigating health and human rights within Uganda’s Courts of Law. This kind of arrangement helps bring out lawyers that understand key constitutional and health issues beyond what they are taught in class. The Moot specifically aspires to train students in legal writing, arguing cases in Court, professional conduct and demeanor while arguing cases and preparation of Court pleadings.

    We call upon universities that are interested in participating to fill this form as an expression of interest to participate by Friday, 19th August, 2022 at 5:00 pm.

    #CEHURDMOOT22  #KeepingPregnantGirlsInSchoolUg

  • 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;

  • East African Community: Why integration of sexual and reproductive health is key

    By Peter Eceru – Programme Coordinator, Advocacy – CEHURD

    Currently, the East African Legislative Assembly is undertaking regional consultations on the Sexual and Reproductive Health Bill, 2021 in the all-members states. The Bill is premised on Article 118 of the treaty for the establishment of the East African Community which provides for cooperation in health and promotes the management of health delivery systems and better planning mechanisms to enhance the efficiency of health care services. The East African Community treaty also seeks to harmonise national health policies and regulations in order to achieve quality health care in partner states. The treaty also looks at cooperation in the development of specialised health training, health research, reproductive health, pharmaceutical products and preventive medicines.

    The Bill further seeks to strengthen the mechanism that facilitates attainment by the Community of the goal to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services by 2030. These services include family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes. This goal is enshrined in the EAC Integrated Reproductive Maternal, New-born Child and Adolescent Health Policy Guidelines 2016-2030, and the EAC Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights Strategic Plan.

    The Bill recognises the obligation of Partner States under several international, continental and Community frameworks, to respect, protect and fulfil the right to health. They do this by facilitating, providing, and promoting the highest attainable standard of health and providing measures toward the full realisation of the right to health. Bill will strengthen the mechanism to facilitate the attainment of the Community goal of ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services, including family planning, information and education.

    The Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health indicators in the East African Community member states are worse than the average in the rest of Africa. High maternal and mortality rates for children under five, high unmet need for contraceptives and adolescent fertility rates demonstrate a need for collective action across the community to respond to the sexual and reproductive health challenges. In 2020, 39,000 children in East Africa were born with HIV infections that could have been easily prevented. During the same period, 62,000 mothers died from childbirth complications that could have been easily addressed. Two hundred million girls and women are estimated to have undergone genital mutilation. Additionally, cervical cancer remains a leading cause of cancer-related deaths in African women, where the estimated rate of deaths is 94 women per 100,000. Currently, 19 million women in East Africa cannot access modern contraception and a further 2.5 million are at risk of death due to complications from unsafe abortions. The Covid-19 pandemic led to a very big increase in violence against women and girls all over the East African Community putting the future of millions of women and children in jeopardy.

    Indicators across the different countries in the region vary in terms of severity. For example, South Sudan has the highest maternal mortality rate within the Community with 1,150 deaths per 100,000 women who give birth, while Rwanda has the lowest at 248 deaths per 100,000 women giving birth. These variations demonstrate the need for collaborative health systems planning and how this would benefit the region in dealing with high mortality rates within the East African Community Member states. Various countries have over time developed best practices that can be shared across the Community. In Uganda, a weekly maternal death surveillance enables the ministry to follow up on maternal deaths and investigate the causes. This enables timely response.

    To strengthen regional Health Information Management Systems, it is critical to have a regional framework to guide this. The collection of data on for example contraceptive use, sexual and reproductive health and the wider reproductive, adolescent maternal newborn remains uncoordinated across the Community. In Uganda, this information is collected through the Uganda Demographic Health Survey and the Health Information Management Systems. In the case of partner states, different information is collected among partner states and this information is collected along different time periods. This makes it difficult to utilise the information for the purpose of regional planning and collective decision-making. Sound and reliable data is the foundation for decision-making across all health system building blocks and is essential for health system policy formulation and implementation, governance and regulation, health research, human resource development, service delivery and financing.

    The consultations on this Bill are therefore a very important process in strengthening regional integration and specific emphasis on the promotion of sexual and reproductive health in the EAC partner states.

    A version of this article was first published in the Daily Monitor Newspaper on 6th July 2022.

  • 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.

  • Call for Expression of Interest for a Short-Term Consultancy Service to Develop an Online (Web-Based) Community Advocacy Dashboard

    The Center for Health, Human Rights, and Development (CEHURD) with support from Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) wishes to develop a community advocacy dashboard to allow grassroots community structures and partners to identify, document, and report Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) violations. The platform will be a central web-based online system where Community Health Advocates (CHAs) will identify, document, and remotely report any health rights violations in their communities. The 24/7 hour-up time online system will enable CHAs to submit identified SRHR and health rights complaints along with the associated evidence to support CEHURD’s case follow-up and advocacy.

    Download details below;

  • Protecting Ugandan Children, Ensuring a Secure Future

    One in every five children aged 13-17 years experience emotional abuse while violence, sexual harassment and drug addiction have recently escalated. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 100 to 140 million girls and women worldwide presently live with the consequences of Female Genital Mutilation. To further note, in recent months, Uganda has been grappling with harmful practices like child sacrifice, child trafficking, child labour, and early marriages which have tremendously affected the progress of young children in our society.

    By Sandra Ndagire


    African children, Ugandan children in this case, face a lot of issues that harm them physically, emotionally and psychological ranging from cultural and traditional norms and practices, upbringing, neighbourhood and the legal environment. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many children and young people especially young girls were exposed to teenage pregnancies and unsafe abortions, early marriages, child labour, to meet individual and family needs, sexual exploitation, violence, abuse and failure to continue with school.

    The pandemic resulted in a massive closure and unprecedented loss of jobs and incomes of many families leading many children to enter the workforce to help their families survive, forced to work long hours and or enter more hazardous and exploitative conditions and exposed to sexual engagement both consensual and non-consensual.
    Additionally, according to the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development survey report of 2018, 44 per cent of girls and 59 per cent of boys aged 13-17 years had experienced physical violence and all forms of abuse. Of this, one in every five children aged 13-17 years experienced emotional abuse. Additionally, the National Violence Against children survey noted that 25 of girls and 11 per cent of boys reported sexual violence.

    As Uganda joins the rest of the world to commemorate the Day of the African Child under the theme; Eliminating Harmful Practices Affecting Children: Progress on Policy and Practice since 2013”, it is presented with an opportunity to take stock. This stock includes looking at what has been done in regards to the adoption of policies and practices and reflect on what needs to be done to effectively eliminate harmful practices affecting children in Uganda.
    The 2013 theme emphasised putting an end to harmful social and cultural practices against children, and highlighted the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders, particularly children who would be provided with an opportunity to express their views on harmful social and cultural practices. Harmful practices listed on the 2013 Day of the African Child were majorly child marriage and female genital mutilation. However, violence, sexual harassment and drug addiction have recently escalated. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is rife in our society and the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 100 to 140 million girls and women worldwide presently live with the consequences of FGM.

    In Uganda, the Female Genital Mutilation practice is common among the Pokot and Tepeth in Karamoja sub-region and the Sabiny in Kapchorwa. As per UNICEF and the Uganda Bureau of statistics, it is ranging at 13 per cent in Kapchorwa and 52 per cent (highest) in Moroto. This practice is majorly happening, especially among females aged 15-19 years across the six districts of Kween, Bukwo, Kapchorwa, Moroto, Nakapiripirit and Amudat, according to the 2017 survey report concerning FGM.
    To further note, in recent months, Uganda has been grappling with harmful practices like child sacrifice, child trafficking, child labour, and early marriages, which have tremendously affected the progress of young children in our society. Uganda was ranked 14th among the 25 countries with the highest rates of early marriages 46 per cent of whom are girls marrying before the age of 18 years. According to the 2016 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey, 34 per cent of women aged 20-24 years were married before the age of 18 years.

    We therefore, call upon Government and duty bearers to prioritise children’s rights as given to them, by protecting them against any challenges especially aggravated with the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes sexual exploitation and abuse including inducement, coercion and encouragement to engage in sexual activities and other customary and cultural/ traditional practices that are harmful to their wellbeing, health, education and socio-economic development.
    More to this, the Government of Uganda needs to establish mandatory reporting responsibilities and protection orders; ensure the recovery and reintegration of child victims and restore their rights; establish a universal child registration system. The Governments should also engage strategic stakeholders including cultural and religious leaders; empower children to support the prevention and abandonment of harmful practices, and consolidate data and research on harmful practices. There is also a need to strengthen international, regional or bilateral cooperation to eliminate and protect children against harmful practices affecting them physically, emotionally, socially and mentally.

    There is, therefore, a need to come up with strategies that protect children and young people, and also recognise their ability to make decisions about their future by creating an enabling environment for them to access information and services.

    The writer is an intern at Centre for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) in the Community Empowerment Programme.

  • Investment In Blood Collection and Processing Saves Lives

    A total of 63 Health Centre (HC) IVs conducted cesarean sections without blood transfusion services and 38 HC IVs did not provide any emergency obstetric care services in FY 2019/20 because of the inability to access blood or absence of requisite staff.

    By Grace Awilli

    It is likely that the National Budget Speech will be read today. Incidentally, today also happens to be World Blood Donor Day. The day was first commemorated in 2005 by a joint initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Cross societies to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products as well as thank the donors for their voluntary, life-saving gift of blood. It is one of the eleven global public health campaigns marked by WHO as well as the civil society organisations around the world. 

    Usually, blood and blood products are essential for the management of injuries, medical illnesses, and childbirth.  However, chronic shortages in blood supply in the country perpetuate the high levels of morbidity and mortality from injuries, maternal loss of blood and treatable diseases. Therefore, a safe and adequate blood supply is crucial in ensuring patients in both emergency and non-emergency situations get access to safe blood to save their lives. According to WHO’s global database on blood safety, a country should be able to collect blood equivalent to one per cent of its population and Uganda with an estimated population of about 48 million collects far below the required amount which in turn leads to a wide shortage of blood in the country and thus loss of lives. In 2021, Uganda Red Cross Society mobilised 152,891 units of blood which were still insufficient in relation to the population of the country.

    In Uganda, haemorrhage continues to be the leading cause of maternal death, contributing 42 per cent of all deaths reviewed, with postpartum haemorrhage contributing up to 90 per cent of all haemorrhage cases reported. Thirty-six per cent of maternal deaths occurred among young mothers under 24 years who should have been in school, contributing up to 10 percent of all maternal deaths. It should be noted that a total of 63 Health Centre (HC) IVs conducted Cesarean sections without blood transfusion services and 38 HC IVs did not provide any emergency obstetric care services in FY 2019/20 because of the inability to access blood or absence of requisite staff. It is estimated that 8,400 mothers are being unnecessarily referred to regional referral hospitals because the HC IVs lack the capacity to perform obstetric care due to the lack of blood supplies. Installation of blood fridges at HC IVs would allow these patients to receive on-site care and reduce unnecessary referrals, saving time and effort of the specialised medical staff at the regional hospitals, and reducing transportation costs. The Budget Committee of parliament noted that UBTS collects about 300,000 Units of blood annually yet the actual estimated need stands at about 420,000 Units. This leaves a blood deficit of 120,000 Units annually. In order to meet this gap, UBTS needs to expand its capacity to mobilise, collect and screen enough blood requirements.

    It should be noted that low-and middle-income countries frequently have insufficient blood supplies necessary to meet the demand and as a result, patients in low and middle-income countries are frequently unable to access blood units necessary for the transfusion in a timely manner. At times, shortages of blood at hospitals in Uganda, especially in rural areas last for several days and according to statistics from various hospitals, so many people die due to these shortages. Much as Uganda has a national blood transfusion service, there has been a noticeable lack of a steady blood supply available for patients at the different health facilities. The reluctance by the community members to donate blood is attributed to a number of factors including superstition, fear of knowing their HIV status and interruptions in the supply of donor kits and testing reagents. 

    Therefore, the WHO recommends voluntary, non-remunerated blood donation and has set a standard of 10 blood donations/ 1000 population as a baseline value for all countries to meet. While on average, high-income counties have 32.1 donations/1,000 population, low-Income countries have only 4.6 donations/1000 population which is really low to meet the high demand for the blood needed by patients. It is estimated that blood donation by only one per cent of a country’s population is needed to meet the basic demand for blood and to achieve this, there is a lot that should be done by Ugandans in order to meet the blood donation standards by WHO and this can only be done by mobilising and encouraging the public to voluntarily donate blood so as to fill the national blood demand. Uganda also needs to improve existing structures for blood collection and enhance allocation to Uganda Blood Transfusion to cater for blood collection and processing.

    It is therefore our hope that today’s budget speech will indicate increased funding for blood collection and management in order to save lives. 

    The writer is a Lawyer and volunteer in the Campaigns, Partnerships and Networks programme at the Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD).

  • Small Grants To Support Innovative Sexual And Reproductive Health And Rights (SRHR) Projects

    The small grants initiative aims at supporting innovative projects among the membership of the Coalition to Stop Maternal Mortality due to Unsafe Abortion (CSMMUA) working at community level. These small grants will strengthen capacities and enhance the work of these organisations. This initiative is supported by the Wellspring Philanthropic Fund (WPF) and administered by CEHURD.

    Download Application details and Application form here;

Who We Are

[vc_promo_box width=”1/1″ el_position=”first last”] Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) is an indigenous, non-profit, research and advocacy organization which is pioneering the enforcement of human rights and the justiciability of the right to health in Eastern Africa. [/vc_promo_box]

VISION:

A society in which social justice and human rights in health systems is realised.

MISSION:

To advance health rights for vulnerable communities through an integrated programme of litigation, advocacy and action research

Testimonial

[vc_testimonial client=”Peter K” style=”light” width=”1/1″ el_position=”first last”] Thank you CEHURD for making maternal health a priority and for being so brave to drag Gov\’t of Uganda to court to ensure that the rights of every Ugandan are respected. [/vc_testimonial]

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