Monday, July 30, 2012

ACFODE Weekly News Round Up


Several victims of the nodding head syndrome have been made pregnant in Kitgum district. Four of the girls have already given birth, while four more are due. This has raised concern among parents, doctors and local leaders about the lives of the minors, who have to deal with the debilitating disease and burden of being child mothers. Luka Nyeko, the Kitgum district chairperson, warns men who take advantage of the minors when they are left alone at home or when in a state of fits. "It becomes difficult for the young girls to defend themselves. They cannot recall and report to their parents. It is only discovered months later that they are pregnant," Nyeko says.

Symptoms of nodding disease

The symptoms of nodding syndrome include head nodding, constant drooling of saliva, mental retardation and stunted growth. The nodding is triggered by placing food in front of the children or eating. It is also triggered by cold weather or a cold bath, but in such a case, the children recover when they get warm. Nodding syndrome was first reported in northern Uganda in 2005 in Amida sub-county, Kitgum district. Since then it has spread to Amuru, Agago, Lamwo and Pader districts, affecting over 3,000 children Read more


I do not understand how people can think that something as grave as rape can qualify for a topic to laugh about, writes Rebecca Rwakabukoza. I need to start this piece with a disclaimer: I'm feminist and maybe sometimes I get a little aggressive on topics like this. So, the other weekend, I was depressed and trying not to text people aimless things so I ended up on the computer in the living room. Before I knew it, I was on the interwebs looking up not-so-funny jokes. It was downhill from the valley I was in from there. I found all kinds of unbelievably wrong things that were supposed to be funny.

I found dead baby jokes, rape jokes and a lot of other jokes that had me double-thinking my decision to bring children into this universe. We live in a sick world, my friends. A very sick world. As my internet search informed me, comedian Daniel Tosh, star of Comedy Central's show Tosh.O, had just made a rape joke. Or more accurately, attempted to make a rape joke. He said, "Wouldn't it be funny if that girl got raped by like, five guys right now? Like right now?" Ahhhh… no, sir, it would most certainly not be funny. I do not understand why there is even the need to laugh about this. Shouldn't we all be up in arms, ready to fight and castrate rapists? Read more


High Court in Kampala yesterday sentenced Francis Birungi Binaisa, son to former President Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa to 12 years imprisonment for aggravated defilement. Binaisa was last year charged with defilement when he sexually molested his 12-year niece between November, 2010 and April last year at Luvuma Zone in Makindye Division. Justice Rugadya Atwoki said Binaisa was entrusted by the victim's parents to take care of their daughter but instead molested her. The victim told court that Binaisa abused her three times. Justice Rugadya in his ruling said prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt that the act of sex was performed.

"The evidence the victim gave on sworn in-oath collaborates with the evidence of Dr Moses Byaruhanga, who examined the girl, found she was 13 years old and her hymen was ruptured hence sufficient intelligence," the judge said. Justice Rugadya also said the accused refused to give his defence after telling court many times that he was unwell and needed more time to get treatment. 0n June 20, Binaisa was ordered to give his defence and still insisted that he was unwell and therefore need more time to get treatment and access his witnesses in Kyenjojo District Read more


Police is holding a father and grandparent on allegations of child labour and deprivation of the right to education. The duo, who are residents of Kamuli Buwenge Mpya zone, were called for interrogation after the Municipal Council law enforcement officer discovered that they were using a 10-year-old girl to sell liquor instead of going to school. The Town Council Health Inspector, Mr Robert Kunya, who led the Thursday operation, said the young girl confided to them over deprivation of her right to education. However, the parents reasoned that the girl was helping her grandmother to earn a living. Read more


In biology it is impossible for a human being to produce an animal or a reptile. In science it's believed that a man produces a man, a cow produces a cow and a snake produces snakes. But this is not the case in African countries. African women may become pregnant and at delivery they produce snakes, only liters of water, leopards and sometimes other awkward creatures.

For example there is this woman in Uganda who has been carrying a strange pregnancy for a period of over 10 years who yesterday produced a bizarre creature whose head resembled a snake. Its head even if it looked like a snake it had no eyes, ears, and its body had no hands and legs. The residents of Iganga where this woman stays say that this woman visited several local medicine men and got no success. She was only saved by gynecologist in Iganga who recommended that she be operated upon using the caesarian procedure something which the woman accepted. The traditional doctors we managed to interview in this story said that African women produce so many creatures due to works of spirits. Read more


An 11-year-old boy in Kayunga District is struggling to look after his six siblings after their parents abandoned them seven months ago.
Magidu Ochow with his young brothers and sisters claim that their father, Mr Jamir Oyana, a traditional healer, left home in January saying he was going for burial in Tororo District. "Our father told us that he was going to come back the following day but since then we have never heard from him," Ochow said.

Their mother, Ms Zulaika Nakirya, according to the children, separated with their father three years ago after a domestic feud. Ochow, who on Saturday led his siblings on a six-mile journey from Wajjanzi Village to Kayunga Police Station, said he had got stuck as he could no longer afford to fend for the family. Read more


Recently, the Daily Monitor ran a story about Kato Kajubi, who was to appear in court on charges concerning child sacrifice. Traditional leaders and healers have often denied that child sacrifice is Ugandan culture. They have often attributed it to the world being a global village that has seen us copying practices from other cultures. Article 3 of the Universal Declation of Human Rights states that every one has a right to life, liberty and security of person. Therefore, sacrificing children automatically deprives them of their right to life.

The media have often reported about children who have gone missing only for their mutilated bodies to be discovered a few days later. Godfrey Kato Kajubi is accused of sacrificing a 12-year-old boy, who was a pupil of Kayugi Primary School on October 27, 2008 in Masaka District. Kajubi is not the only person who has been accused of sacrificing a child for wealth. Besides, many other cases are not reported. Read more


Kasese district chairperson Lt. Col. Dula Mawa Muhindo has criticised opposition MPs from the area for shunning President Yoweri Museveni's February visit to the district during the Tarehe Sita celebrations. Read more



Medical authorities in the western district of Kibaale were today investigating more suspected cases of Ebola, as haemorrhagic fever returned, causing anxiety around the country. Unofficial sources at Kagadi hospital, the main health facility in Kibaale, said more suspected cases were being investigated, but officials would not comment by press time. By Saturday six people had been admitted with the disease. Ebola manifests as a haemorrhagic fever, is highly infectious and kills quickly. Signs and symptoms of the disease include fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, headache, measles-like rash, red eyes, and – sometimes – with bleeding from body openings.

People in the district, in Bunyoro sub-region, have been troubled by the mysterious illness, until last Saturday when health authorities confirmed it was Ebola haemorrhagic fever. By press time, 14 people were known to have died from the fever, including an entire family of 12, in Nyanswiga village, Nyamarunda sub-county. In a statement, Dr Denis Lwamafa, Commissioner National Disease Control in the ministry of Health, said the fever had been confirmed after tests at the Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe. Read more


Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah last week presided over an empty Parliament, after he insisted on conducting business on the day lawmakers travelled to Katakwi district to bury a deceased colleague. Whenever a serving MP dies, parliamentary tradition is to suspend the sitting on the day of burial. So, when Usuk county MP Michael Oromait was to be buried, many MPs assumed the plenary was off.

"In my history as an MP, I have never witnessed this happening before. But to my shock, I am disappointed that the Speaker has adamantly convened a session yet one of colleague is being laid to rest," said the Rubaga South MP, Ken Lukyamuzi. However, in his communication, Oulanyah said he had decided to conduct business, because of the backlog. All independent and opposition lawmakers did not attend the session, though four ministers and a handful of NRM MPs were present, leading to the premature adjournment of the plenary. Read more


Ten percent of Ugandans are said to be living with chronic hepatitis B infection, an infection that causes liver cancer. This was revealed by the WHO Country advisor Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) surveillance, Dr. Innocent Mwesigye during a health literacy dialogue at Gayaza Catholic playground.

The dialogue under the theme, "Engaging Patient and Consumer Organizations to increase Health Literacy levels in Uganda", was organized by a Community Health And Information Networking (CHAIN)-Uganda in partnership with patient organizations with support from Merck & Co, Inc, a US based pharmaceutical company. Mwesigye cited Northern Uganda with the highest cases with about 25% of the population infected compared to 7% in southwestern regions. Read more


Prisca Mashengyero Tembo, wife to State Minister for ICT, Nyombi Tembo has died. Mashengyero Tembo died on Saturday night at about 10pm when the vehicle in which she was traveling got involved in an accident at Bwebajja on Entebbe Road.

The Minister for Information and National Guidance, Mary Karoro Okurut said in a statement, "Government has learnt with shock the untimely and tragic death of Mrs. Prisca Mashengyero Tembo, wife to State Minister for ICT-Hon Nyombi Tembo. Government sends its condolences to Hon. Tembo, the entire family and friends of the bereaved, in this most trying period." Read more


Traditional Birth Attendants should not be completely demobilised before government finds a suitable replacement for them, the Dean of Students at Gulu University Sr. Margaret Aceng has said. "The Traditional Birth Attendants have been doing something to fill gaps that government could not fill. It might be unfair to just remove them before qualified midwives have been recruited to fill the gap," Aceng said. She made the remarks during a half-day discussion of a research presentation that was carried out by Nairobi-based AMREF researchaers at Palema Crown Hotel in Gulu municipality last Thursday.

Dr. Pamela Godia, a researcher who presented the household base line survey said the research was carried in only three districts of Acholi in northern Uganda, a five-year project to establish the maternal and child health care situation in northern Uganda. The research was carried in Kitgum, Pader and Gulu from November and December 2011. Godia said the objectives of the survey to help to deploy and attempt to reduce specific issues affecting the maternal and child health care, antenatal care and child mortality rate in northern Uganda by the year 2015. The report shows that there was general under-staffing of the health workers, and their motivation, inadequate drugs and vaccines, poor security of health workers in rural and night hours from their places of work among others. Read more


Uganda yesterday launched clinical trials to test the effectiveness and safety of a ring containing an anti-retroviral drug, which is inserted in the vagina to prevent HIV infection in women. If successful, the research in five African countries will give hope to women to get protection against infection without compromising adherence to the drug.

The other countries participating in the trials jointly conducted with the US national Institute of Health (NIH), are Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa. A total of 3,476 participants are expected to take part in the trials, 200 of whom will be from Uganda. The MTN 020 study, which is otherwise called "A Study to Prevent Infection with a Ring for Extended Use (Aspire)", aims at determining whether the drug dapivirine can safely prevent HIV infection when continuously released in the vagina from a silicone ring replaced once a month. Read more


Zulfat Mukarubega, 52, is no ordinary woman; educated as a nurse, her quest to fight poverty has made her the owner of arguably the only tourism university in East Africa. Married at the age of 20, she could not stand the level of poverty her family was forced to endure. With just $10,(Shs23,000), she decided to start an eatery in 1979. Speaking from her posh office in Kigali during an interview with Africa Survival Series, Madam Zulfat as she is commonly known in the capital, says the money gleaned was not enough to buy everything she needed.

"I asked neighbours to give me the furniture they did not need and was able to get four tables and eight chairs free of charge," she says. Armed with $10, she went to the market and bought sugar, milk, tea, and bread in preparation to serve breakfast. With rent not requested in advance after negotiating with the landlord, Madam Zulfat would run back to the market to buy merchandise for lunch with the money she made from the sale of breakfast. "Business was so good to the extent that in a year's time, four new eateries sprung up around my business, I decided to change," she says. Read more


Out of 1.5 million babies born every year, 200,400 are born prematurely and nearly 90 per cent of them die before their first birthday, according to a new report.

The report titled Health Policy and Planning, shows that pre-maturity causes 38 per cent death in babies between 0-28 days while infections contribute 24 per cent and poor management and care during child birth contribute 28 per cent. Speaking at the launch of the report in Kampala yesterday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative, Dr Joachim Saweka, said every hour, four babies die of causes that would otherwise be averted if more attention is given to the problem.

"Most of these deaths are caused by being born too soon as a result of fevers and other pregnancy- related diseases. This, however, can be prevented with basic lifesaving interventions like Kangaroo mother care, hygienic umbilical cord care, attending antenatal care as well as practicing family planning," Dr Saweka said. Dr Peter Waiswa of the department of Health Policy Planning and Management at Makerere University, said babies born between 32 and 37 weeks are more likely to survive with minimal interventions mostly the Kangaroo mother care- where the infant is held skin-to-skin on the mother's chest to keep warm. Read more


Many people have tended to attribute maternal deaths in Uganda to poor attitude of midwives, negligence, absenteeism and stealing of medicines from the health facilities. What is not usually considered is the great work done by midwives to save mothers and their babies. The impression created is like a maternal death is a cause for celebration to the midwife. Death affects everybody. Ideally, after occurrence of a maternal death, a midwife on duty should be given at least 48 hours of rest to recover from the trauma and shock due this death. But this is not the case because of gross understaffi ng in many health facilities. In many Health Centre IIs, the midwife is forced to continue with the days' work as if nothing happened.

A similar scenario is present in larger facilities, where there are human resource constraints. This is just a snip of the crisis of our health services. Whereas more research is needed on the reasons as to why midwives are alleged to be rude and negligent, the current working environment places a heavy burden on the midwives. The health of a midwife is never considered by policy markers and the general public. Some of the broader community factors contributing to maternal deaths include: ignorance of the importance of regular antenatal care attendance and good nutrition during pregnancy; lack of suffi cient sexual education to young parents; Read more


AIDS specialists heard fresh appeals Wednesday to expand assistance for women far beyond a global focus on pregnancy. Many countries have increased treatment of HIV-infected pregnant women to lower their chances of infecting their babies. But UNICEF's Dr. Chewe Luo said that most countries do not automatically continue anti-AIDS drugs for those women after their babies are weaned - important for keeping them healthy long-term. She praised Malawi for starting to do just that. And she said adolescent girls - the 10- to 18-year-olds - are too often ignored by global HIV testing, prevention and treatment programs. Without protecting them, Luo said, all the investment for healthy babies was for nothing.

Meanwhile, major new research is beginning in Africa to determine whether a special kind of vaginal ring might provide protection for women without their partners knowing. Giving women tools to protect themselves when their partners won't use a condom is crucial for battling the AIDS epidemic. Women already make up half of the 34.2 million people worldwide living with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS; even more -- 60 percent -- in hard-hit Africa are women. But developing what are called microbicides has proved difficult. Previous research found an experimental anti-AIDS vaginal gel offered partial protection, but remembering to use it every time they have sex would be a hurdle for some women. The new attempt: Read more


The government will from October this year administer a new treatment regime for all pregnant mothers living with HIV known as Option B+, in a move aimed at eliminating Mother-to -Child Transmissions (PMTCT). The new drug will replace the administration of the AZT drug to expectant mothers following recommendation by the World Health Organisation in 2011. According to WHO, Option B+ will help offer protection against mother-to-child transmission in future pregnancies, as well as continuing prevention against sexual transmission of the virus in case of discordant partners.

Dr. Alex Alex Ario, the acting programme manager for HIV/Aids Control Programme, said at least 90,000 women over the country will be put on this new regime of treatment. The head of research at the Joint Clinical Research Centre, Dr Francis Kiweewa, told Daily Monitor that the current guidelines for PMTCT put a lot of focus on the prevention of HIV transmission from the mother to the child with little focus on the wellbeing of the mother. Read more


Just a week after the news that 90% of the women in Hoima district have multiple partners, related health information about women in Hoima is out. The information is that 90% of women in Hoima district have cervical cancer. This piece of information has been released by the Reproductive Health Manager, Reproductive Health Uganda, Hoima branch, Nathan Tumuramye. Tumuramye says that in their weekly cancer screening exercise, they have found out that 90% of the women aged 15 years and above have cervical cancer at different levels of development.

He says that cervical cancer is spread by men from one woman to another through sexual intercourse. This means that women with multiple partners are at higher risk of contractingcervical cancer. Tumuramye urges women to take cancer screening seriously so as to the cancer diagnosed early enough for specialized management. He adds that the signs and symptoms are similar to other Sexually Transmitted Diseases such as Gonorrhea and Syphilis. Symptoms such as smelly discharge, prolonged menstrual period and repeated menstrual periods. This news item is copyrighted. Any reuse in part or whole without permission from Ultimate Media Consult is prohibited. Read more



I find it funny when men and women, married couples at that, keep certain information away from each other. You wonder why the secrecy. A friend of mine was shocked when I told her that Mr is the one who buys my bras. She wondered why I allowed him to deal with such intimate clothing of mine.
"Uh, hello? He is my husband. He knows me more than anyone else does. He sees me dress up every morning. My bras are placed in an area in the wardrobe that he can see. Frankly, I think he is the best person to know what my cup size is."

When people say that it is a good thing to marry your friend, this is what they mean. They mean that your husband should know your preferred type of sanitary towels, how many you use each month and the aches and pains that come with your period. He should know the kind of lotion you like to use, the smell of the deodorant you hate and the size of your underwear. He should know the kind of varnish you like, that you prefer to put the tomatoes before the onions when cooking and that while you love your baby to bits, you just hate changing diapers. Read more


For every journey, there are victories and fond memories to celebrate, as there are terrors that cannot be forgotten. The influence of the woman that gave beginnings to the terror that has been the ruthless rebel leader, Joseph Kony, in Northern Uganda is one such memory we cannot ignore as we think back on Uganda's past 50 years, writes Brian Magoba.Illiterate, a fish-and-flour vendor, or prostitute depending on who you asked, and a female. Ordinarily, any one of these factors would have disqualified Alice Auma from being a leader of men. But, she claimed that God spoke through her, and they followed her into a war waged supposedly to purify Uganda and restore Acholi glory.

On May 25, 1985, she reportedly lost hearing and speaking ability. Several failed traditional interventions later, she disappeared into Paraa National Park and emerged 40 days later as the spirit-medium of a dead Italian soldier whose name, Lakwena, means "messenger" in the Acholi language. On August 6, 1986, Lakwena allegedly ordered Auma to form a Holy Spirit Movement (HSM) that would fight evil and end bloodshed. But the HSM's songs, sticks, stones and "magic" shea-butter oil were no match for the National Resistance Army's bullets and organisational superiority. Read more


The standard maternity leave for a working mother is three months after their baby is born. The medically recommended exclusive breastfeeding is however supposed to last the first six months of the baby's life. How a mother continues to provide the precious gift of breast milk when she returns to work remains among today's biggest challenges for the working mother, writes Christine Wanjiru Wanjala

True, breastfeeding will lower chances of infant mortality and give your baby all important immunity. The experts say it is all the food your baby needs and which mother does not want what is best for her baby?
The first woman to take over the board room may not have thought twice about it, yet it came to haunt the beneficiaries of her bravery. The daunting task of breast feeding exclusively while holding down a full time job after the maternity leave days have expired. How do working mothers do it?
Read more

Compiled by Sandra Nassali & Esther Namitala

Public Relations & Communications Department

Action For Development


Monday, July 23, 2012

ACFODE Weekly News Round-Up


We reported in this paper yesterday that women are seeking inclusion in peace-making. To back up the quest for their inclusion, the programme manager of Women's International Cross Cultural Exchange, Ms Helen Kezie-Nwoha, castigated systems and structures which exclude women from being part of the peace process. We cannot agree more. There is indeed need, especially in developing countries, where women are equated to the beast of burden, owing to the domestic chores they engage in, to be relieved.

However, it is important that women should not look far to have their prayers answered. It is mainly from the women's efforts that inclusion in the democratisation process, rights activism, peace contribution, ending domestic violence, and all other vices meted against women, will genuinely come. Today, more than ever before, women across the world, including Africa, have moved as much as possible either to the dining table proper, or as near as possible to it. A decade or so ago, for instance, who knew that Africa would one day boast of a woman president? But Today, the continent has two female presidents – Ms Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the elected President of Liberia and Joyce Banda of Malawi. She was formerly elected vice president of her country.Read more


Almost seven out of 10 women from eastern and northern Uganda have been beaten by their husbands during the last few months, according to a report by the Centre for Basic Research.Read more


About 90% of women in Hoima district have multiple sex partners and half of them do not use condoms during sexual engagements, a survey on HIV/AIDS, reproductive health and sanitation has revealed. Read more


A Ugandan woman has been arrested for allegedly trafficking women to China and Malaysia to engage in sex slavery, as the East African country tries to stem what it considers a growing trend. Faith Natukunda, 42, is suspected to be part of a well knit ring of traffickers that sent unsuspecting women to the Far East, where they were subjected to sex slavery. Police say Ntakunda was arrested after two women who were sent to Malaysia were deported back to Uganda, where they blew the whistle on her illicit trade.

"The two women were arrested and held for three months in Malaysia before being deported to Uganda. They reported her to the police, who started hunting for her arrest," police criminal investigations officer, Alex Nguda said. Ntakunda allegedly committed the offences between June and September 2011. She is suspected to have taken hundreds of girls to China and Malaysia. Ntakunda has since appeared before the Kampala Chief Magistrates Court, where she faces two counts of human trafficking.Read more


After a 400-kilometre flight past the expanding suburbs of Kampala that give way to lush fields and hills, a small aircraft carrying a group of journalists and a photographer landed on the dirt airstrip of the Kihihi airport, in the Kanungu district, near the eastern border of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Their mission: to highlight the ways family planning is making a difference in creating a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. Starting at Kanungu Health Centre IV, on the outskirts of the town of Kanunug, journalists interviewed pregnant women at a waiting facility set up by UNFPA and its partners to save expectant mothers from the hardship of the long journeys during the final stages of pregnancy.

They also met with mothers who had just delivered at the nearby maternity ward. Next stop was the UNFPA Surgical Camp, where tens of women, and a few men, were lining up to receive family planning counselling and services, and to undergo testing for HIV and cervical cancer, another sexually transmitted infection. Those women lucky enough to have their partners with them moved faster —a small incentive to encourage male involvement in women's reproductive health issues. The Camp is run by a voluntary health team—community members who had been trained to address the sexual and reproductive health needs of the community. Read more


As she cradled her baby, just a few hours old, on the bed opposite me at the birth centre Natooro told me Kikome, her new daughter's name, meant 'cloudy' in Luganda, a local language spoken in Uganda. Although the sun was shining outside the traditional banda hut and the new mother was beaming, for me the name conjured up images of stormy weather, of trouble. "Was it a cloudy day when you gave birth?" I asked gently. "It was maybe the pain, because the baby was not coming so soon, so the midwives had to intervene," explained the 19-year-old, her proud husband Moses looking over the pair proudly.

Last time, during the birth of her son Muswingwa, Natooro, 19, nearly died from (primary postpartum hemorrhage) PPH. The childbirth-related complication is the leading cause of maternal mortality in Uganda, said midwife Sister Mary Namusisi, who delivered Kikome. "Whens someone's dying of a hemorrhage she doesn't yell, she doesn't scream, she's just like somebody going to sleep," she told me in the examination room of the centre run by Shanti Uganda, which aims to improve infant and maternal health, provide safe women-centred care and support the well-being of women with HIV/AIDS.Read more


Once every month, John Robert Engole checks into a clinic on the outskirts of the Ugandan capital to collect his medication before quickly returning to the village in northern Uganda where he is a teacher. The regular trips have made Engole special at Reach Out, the AIDS clinic where in March 2004 the Ugandan became the first person in the world to benefit from the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR. Now he is one of nearly 260,000 Ugandans accessing treatment through PEPFAR, and those familiar with the man's story say he is a remarkable example of the program's necessity in poor African countries where governments have been slow to put more resources toward prevention and treatment of AIDS.

This is a crucial moment in the epidemic. There is no cure yet and no vaccine. But recent research suggests it finally may be possible to dramatically stem the spread of the AIDS virus, even in some of the hardest-hit and poorest countries, such as Uganda. "Turning the tide," is the goal as described by the International AIDS Conference that begins Sunday in Washington. More than 20,000 scientists, activists and people living with HIV from around the globe will gather to begin figuring out how to do that - which combinations of protections work best in different countries - and how to pay for it. One key will be increasing the number of people like Engole who are treated for their HIV infection, preferably before they're too weak or sick. Read more


Both men and women play substantial, though different roles in Uganda's economy and households. But despite this, gender inequalities persist in all dimensions of life. The water and sector is not exceptional. The constitution of Uganda (1995) guarantees equality between women and men and also prescribes temporary affirmative action in favour of women for purposes of redressing imbalances created by history, tradition and other factors. It is also a signatory to various International commitments and it has a gender policy (2007) which provides for a framework for gender responsive development. Despite all the above actions and interventions that have been undertaken by both the Ugandan Government and development stakeholders, not much has been achieved.

Why the persistence? Uganda has a fast growing population. According to the 2012 Statistical Absract, the Ugandan population is projected to have increased to 34.1 million by mid 2012 [1], More than half of the population, that is 51%, are female. Uganda, however, like most African countries, is a patriarchal society, with men dominating all sectors and spheres of life, which has negatively affected the inclusion of women in the development process. In the Water Sector, according to the Water and Sanitation Gender Strategy [2], women are the major water collectors, users and managers of water in households and are the major promoters of household and community sanitation activities. Read more


Mr Pilato Kisangala, 45, a Japadhola, was forcefully circumcised following a Bamasaba cultural fete on June 19 using a crude traditional knife in Mbale. Kisangala was not alone; a number of other people including Baganda, Iteso, Bagwere, Banyore and Bagisu were also forcefully circumcised by traditional surgeons with an argument that they wanted them to be safe from HIV/Aids.

Although this comes five years after the results from a 2007 research carried out in Rakai, which revealed that male circumcision could reduce HIV infection by up to 60 per cent. But many doctors argue that traditional Bagisu circumcision, which is believed to have started about 5,000 years ago does not reduce the chances of males getting HIV/Aids. An important landmark
Prof David Serwadda of Makerere University School of Public Health, while presenting a paper, titled Medical Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention, recently at Makerere, said the traditional Bagisu form of circumcision does not give the biological basis on which the research was conducted.
Read more


Drug traffickers are now turning to corpses to smuggle drugs through and into the country. Information shows that so far four bodies destined for Uganda through Entebbe International Airport have been found stuffed with illicit drugs, some weighing up to 500 kilograms. The police surveillance briefs and the Uganda Revenue Authority's enforcement report, note that drug dealers have not only designated Entebbe airport as one of their transit route but they have since adopted a new technique to smuggle cocaine and other illicit drugs.

How it's done

Information indicates that Ugandans are involved in the new smuggling techniques. The corpse can either be of a Ugandan or those in transit through Entebbe international Airport. Though those found stuffed with illicit drugs so far are those of Ugandans, Authority suspect that corpses destined for South and West Africa, originating from Asian and Middle East countries are stuffed. Mr Baba said: "… but what is evident is that corpse are stuffed with drugs then smuggled through the country. It is difficult to stop corpses from either passing through the country or coming back home because it is inhuman to do so." Read more


I want to express my appreciation for very informative Uganda@50, story, 'Footprints of colonialism in the north' in the Daily Monitor July 20. Some of us have been following the series religiously because they offer very educative and deep insights of the country's past. However, while Members of Parliament from Sacred Heart SS were listed, a name of Irene Apio-Julu that should have come first, was omitted.

I was the first Old Girl of Sacred Heart SS and the first Acholi woman to be elected to Parliament. I was also the first Acholi woman to be charged with "treason" together with Andrew Benedicto Adimola who passed on recently, among others. Besides, I was the fifth overall in Uganda after the two Bamutire sisters from Busoga, Night Kulabako of Entebbe, and Scholastica Kanyike of Mukono. There is need for us Ugandans to be fed on the correct dose of history. Read more


I would like to thank Prof. Vinand M. Nantulya and the Uganda Aids Commission on the HIV/Aids message in the Daily Monitor of July 22. The chairperson was spot-on about the Commission's new approach in the fight against the re-surgence of HIV/Aids because they seem to be practical tailor-made for different age groups, social classes and different communities.

Mothers have been advised to prevent passing on the virus to their babies by accessing health facilities as soon as they are aware of their pregnancy. Parents are encouraged to empower their children with knowledge through home-education. Adults are advised to be cautious and avoid sexual encounters with people whose sero-status they are not aware of, or increase the use of protection where necessary, etc. However it would be good if the Commission translated the same message into different local languages. The people who can read are still few. Uganda could also adopt best practices in the fight against HIV/Aids from America or Europe. For instance, America has a national HIV/Aids testing day, which does not compel people to test; it only encourages them to do so. Read more


Janet Museveni is, at 26 years, Uganda's longest serving First Lady. And for a long time it seemed that is all she was content to be, content with staying behind the scenes to support her tireless husband, until she decided to join his profession. In November 2005, she announced that she would stand for the Ruhaama County (Ntungamo District) Parliamentary seat against FDC's Augustine Ruzindana in the February 2006 general elections. It was an intriguing decision: was the move prompted by the need to remove one of her husband's most principled critics, a man who had served in Museveni's government as IGG before he broke rank and joined the opposition? Ruhaama is after all not where she originates from – she was born in Kajara County, Ntungamo, 64 years ago. Or was it a gambit, an opening sequence to something bigger? Janet Museveni, it had been said all along, was not comfortable with politics. The President said as much when she announced her decision to stand in Ruhaama, but said he could not stand in the way of her conviction that her people, and the country at large, needed her. She had stood on the sides all this time and nothing much had changed. It was now time for her to get in the thick of things. Read more


Probably living up to her 'indomitable' tag, FDC strongwoman Salaamu Musumba could become the surprise candidate in the forthcoming internal elections for the party's presidency. Musumba, the party's vice president (Eastern region) recently lost to a political novice, Anita Among, for a slot at the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA).

But ever since the defeat, the political rumour mill has been awash with reports that Musumba is on her way out of FDC and that she could probably rejoin the ruling NRM party. However, of late, Musumba has shown intent to contest in the race for party president. Musumba, who believes her defeat was orchestrated by bribery from a rival camp, believes she stands a chance to replace Dr Kizza Besigye. Read more


President Yoweri Museveni has said it is not enough to promote circumcision as an effective strategy in fighting HIV/AIDS, without continued emphasis on behaviour change. Campaigns aimed at reducing infection levels, he says, ought to concentrate on advocating good behaviour: abstinence for unmarried people and faithfulness among those in wedlock.

"I have witnessed Muslims and other people from tribes that cherish circumcision like the Bagisu, die of Aids. Therefore, who told [health workers and leaders] that circumcision [prevents] HIV [infection]? " he said. Museveni was speaking during celebrations to mark 100 years of Mbarara High School in Mbarara district, Saturday. The school was started by Ankole kingdom and the Church Missionary Society of England in 1911. Several distinguished Ugandans, including President Museveni, are old students of the school. Museveni was there for junior secondary from 1959 to 1960. Read more


Four candidates have been nominated to contest for the Kasese district woman parliamentary seat following a two-day exercise that concluded on Friday. The four candidates are: Winfred Kiiza (FDC); Rehema Muhindo (NRM); Rosemary Masika (DP) and Kayezu Betty Kagooro (Independent). Speaking to The Observer shortly after her nomination, Muhindo said she was sure of victory on August 8. "My votes were rigged last year but I think this is not going to happen again," Muhindo said. The DP camp is also ready to safeguard their votes. Iman Makumbi, the DP vice president for Western Uganda, who accompanied Masika to the nominations, said they would deploy a team of youth from other districts to guard their votes.

"We are going to hire a team of youth to guard our votes because we are aware that vote rigging will be part of the exercise and this time we are ready," Makumbi said. Muhindo was accompanied to the nomination by the minster for Defence Chrispus Kiyonga, Katerera county MP, Hatwibu Katoto and the Fort Portal Municipality MP, Alex Ruhunda. Meanwhile, Police in Kasese district have arrested two poling officials whom they found deleting names from the voters' register. Grace Akullo, the district police officer (electoral crimes), told journalists that the two, Godwin Muhindo and Monday Baluku, were arrested from Bwera sub-county from where they were deleting people's names from the register. Read more


Explains impasse with Kampala land board
• Says Lukwago asked for his meagre pay
• Reveals she's offered bribes everyday

Jennifer Musisi, the executive director of the Kampala Capital City Authority, has, during the past year, clashed with politicians in the Authority, particularly the Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago, over policy matters.

More recently, KCCA defied an interim court order from the Court of Appeal to reopen the offices of the Kampala District Land Board, which the police closed in May, following allegations of fraud. In an interview last Friday that covered a number of issues the Authority is grappling with, Musisi told Edris Kiggundu why KCCA had disagreed with the court order and explained why she earns twice as much as Lukwago. Read more

Compiled by Sandra Nassali & Esther Namitala

Public Relations & Communications Department

Action For Development