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.