Empowering Adolescents and Youths will yield long-term benefits

Adolescents have the highest rate of unintended pregnancies and their unmet need for contraception is much higher. In developing countries, roughly half of the pregnancies among adolescents aged 15-19 are unintended, and half of these result in abortions, the majority of which are unsafe.


Sustainable development requires ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being at all ages. To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of excellent health and well-being, the world must harness the full potential of all generations.

As a young person, I constantly come across contradictory and perplexing messages about gender and sexuality. With the help of a comprehensive and high-quality curriculum-based sexuality education program, I believe that all children and young people can navigate these messages and develop healthy norms about themselves and relationships that can help them become responsible citizens from an informed point of view. Although most governments have some sort of sexuality education program in place, these programs are frequently ineffective or poorly implemented. The emergence of new resources for putting these approaches into practice, as well as newly emerging research findings about effective approaches to sexual and reproductive health and rights, make this a very advantageous time to advance this fundamental human right.

As we commemorate the international youth day 2022 under the theme Inter-Generational Solidarity: In Preventing Teenage Pregnancies and Child marriages, we must promote access to comprehensive contraceptive care and contraceptive methods as an essential component of women’s health care by enacting policies and taking actions that ensure the availability of affordable and accessible services. There is a need to underpin all advocacy and programming work that ensures sexual and reproductive health and rights for all without discrimination. Fulfilling these rights and empowering adolescents and youths to make timely, informed decisions about their own bodies and their place in the world will yield long-term benefits.

Efforts should be made to increase access to emergency contraception, including the removal of the age restriction for contraception products, and to create over-the-counter access to oral contraceptives with full insurance coverage or cost assistance. Adolescents have the highest rate of unintended pregnancies and their unmet need for contraception is much higher. In developing countries, roughly half of the pregnancies among adolescents aged 15-19 are unintended, and half of these result in abortions, the majority of which are unsafe.

When designing programs for young people, it is critical to consider their reasons for not using contraception despite the fact that they do not want a pregnancy. Infrequent sex, concerns about contraceptive side effects, breastfeeding, or opposition to contraception, believing that its use conflicts with their traditions and religious directives are examples of such reasons. In this context, contraception information and education are required, as are efforts to understand and address myths and misconceptions. The revised International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education establishes key concepts and learning objectives for use in school and community-based sexuality education that are scientifically accurate, comprehensive, age and developmentally appropriate, and based on human rights and gender equality.

The writer is an intern in the Strategic Litigation programme at the Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD.

Employment Opportunity

1. Job Title: Legal Officer

Department/Group: Strategic Litigation

Reports to: Programmes Coordinator

Direct Reportees: All Programme Staff

Job Purpose: The Legal Officer will work with a group of experience lawyers to provide a cross section of legal services to health service providers.

Key Responsibilities: a) Legal Advisory and Representation

• Meet and interview clients for the purpose of identifying their grievances and planning appropriate legal solutions

• Gather evidence to inform any possible litigation cases or policy review and development process

• Represent clients in all legal proceedings including but not limited to arbitrations, negotiation, settlement meetings, court proceedings and other legal proceedings,

• Draw up legal documents for the purposes of protecting the rights and interests of the clients and/or presenting their cases before any judicial or quasi-judicial body

• Advise clients on all legal issues especially issues relating to the protection and realisation of their sexual reproductive health and rights

• Interpret laws, rulings and regulations for the purposes of explaining the law to clients

• Identify and challenge obstacles to the realisation of the right to health especially sexual and reproductive health rights

• Work with Programme managers in CEHURD to engage those in charge of setting health policies to implement the solutions reached via research. This will include but not limited to preparing Policy or Research briefs, reports, testimonies for public hearings, presentations and petitions on health policies.

• Contribute towards ensuring timely, quality and accurate programme quarterly and annual reporting

• To develop and expand CEHURD’s strategic relations and partnerships in litigation of the right to health especially sexual reproductive health rights Details of the Job Description and qualifications can be accessed here>>>

The Closing date for the receipt of applications is March 20th 2015, by 5:00pm

Minister asked to issue directive on water disconnections in public health facilities.

20th February, 2015

Press release

For immediate release

Kampala –Uganda – The Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) has petitioned the Uganda Human rights Commission to initiate an investigation of human rights violations that occur as result of disconnection of water supply to public health facilities by National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC).

CEHURD in addition has appealed to the minister of water and Environment to invoke his powers as provided for under the Water Act to ISSUE an URGENT directive to prohibit water disconnection in public health institutions.

In the recent past, there have been frequent news reports of Mulago National referral Hospital being disconnected from water supply, Kiboga Hospital, Kawolo District hospital and most recently Bududa Hospital (See Newvision, Thursday 19th February, 2015 at Page 35 – Water Crisis Hits Bududa Hospital). The Lack of water in these health facilities has led to sanitation disease outbreaks including diarrhoea, dysentery to mention but a few.
“The right to water like other human rights creates a number of obligations on government and its agent’s m including obligations to protect respect and fulfill this human right.” Mr. Mulumba says. “The disconnection of water supply in public health institutions demonstrates the government’s failure to restrain third parties like NWSC from violating rights of its citizens of Uganda and thereby violating human rights such as rights to access water, right to health enshrined in Articles 8A, 45 and objectives XIV (b) and XX of the Constitution”, Moses Mulumba the Executive Director of CEHURD notes.

Relatedly Nyamiringa Health Centre II in Kiboga District is in dire state. “The maternity ward at this health facility cannot operate because of lack of water. Women keep trekking long distances in search for proper delivery services. Extra costs are incurred to transport expectant mothers to Hoima regional referral Hospital for the service” , Steven Maisho, HUMC Member, Nyamiringa.

In November 2002, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights adopted General Comment No. 15 on the right to water. In its Article I.1, the committee notes that the human right to water is indispensable for leading a life in human dignity and a prerequisite for the realization of other human rights.

For more information contact info@cehurd.org, or call 0414 532283, 0702977730, 0702245536

Access to information, Why it should matter for Communities.

Today information about the global community is continuously becoming more available yet the space to access information supposedly closer to us and about issues that affect us more directly becomes narrower and narrower. But just to what extent is one entitled to know about activities that go on in their backyard that significantly impact their livelihood when they have no proprietary rights in said activities. Human lives and health are significantly affected by the nature of their environment and the activities that are carried out in their environments and the government has through the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) set up measures to ensure that the environment is not affected by any activities including by requiring impact assessments before such activities are carried out.

Read More Access to information, Why it should matter for Communities.

Safe delivery, a reverie for Uganda; Child theft at the peak.

By Nakibuuka Noor Musisi,

Until proper and well-coordinated systems are in place, safe delivery is likely to remain a dream in Uganda. When reports are made about child theft within health care systems, one can think they are just stories but the reality is true. Such happen. Many women have lost their new born babies in the health facilities; the cause of which is yet to be determined.

Just before the High court makes its pronunciation in a case instituted by CEHURD (CEHURD and others V. Executive Director of Mulago National Referral Hospital) on allegations of child theft, another case has again been reported of a lost child within the same health facility, and the only National referral Hospital, under similar circumstances.

Many questions remain unanswered when we see such happen in the country. Could this be the reason behind Uganda’s failure to achieve MDG 4 and 5? Why do children get lost in the facilities? Is it the system failure or it’s the problem of individual health workers that opt for money out of these new born babies? Will the maternal death rates be reduced at this rate of child theft? Are mothers safer to deliver in health facilities or within hands of traditional birth attendants? Such and many more remain unanswered.

It is indeed disturbing to see a mother who goes through the nine months of pregnancy suffer due to system failure.This was the case for Ms. Anyongire Lovis and Mr. Fred Sanyu. It is alleged that the couple was delivered of a beautiful brown fat bouncing baby girl on the night of 2nd January 2014. After a few minutes, the health workers took the baby away noting that she was ‘tired’. The demand to receive their child has since been in vain. They were only given a body of a dark skinned borny baby girl the following day and on refusal of that, another body that fits their description (of a brown fat baby girl) was given to them.

CEHURD has intervened in the matter, we have interviewed the family and hope to meet the administration of Mulago Hospital for further particulars as we collect evidence to institute a health and human rights related case on behalf of the family.

As we progress to advocate for safe motherhood and delivery, many factors have remained constant that ought to lead the country down. Its unfortunate that health facilities that are meant to be safe places for delivery are turning into a market place for new born babies. Such factors coupled with medicine stock outs, poor remuneration of health workers hinder and will continue to hinder safe delivery within the health care system unless addressed.