Donors to Stop Funding Uganda Human Rights Commission

At least 1, patient 000 people visited Mulago last week for free dental services during the annual NSSF/Rotary Club of Kampala North dental camp.

The five day camp comprised a series of dental health outreach services provided by doctors from Mulago Hospital, advice Makerere University College of Health Sciences and other volunteer doctors from Kampala.

“Apart from our mandate as a social security institution, we have an obligation to contribute to the well-being of the community through Corporate Social Responsibility interventions,” said Mr Richard Byarugaba, the Fund’s Managing director.

“In Rotary Club of Kampala North, we have found a dependable partner in implementation of our interventions in the area of Health. The Dental camp that is carried out twice a year, benefits members of our community that would otherwise have no access to these services,” Mr Byarugaba added.

The camp is aimed at enabling people of Kamwokya, Kyebando, Bwaise, Kawaala, Mulago, Kivulu, Katanda, and Kaleerwe who cannot afford dental health services access them freely.

Services provided at the drive include screening, filling, tooth decay extraction, oral education among others.

Dr AyubTwahaof Mulago Hospital said there is a high prevalence of oral diseases among low-income earners and this still remains a public health challenge in the country.

“It is estimated that more than half of the Ugandan population has oral health problems,” Dr Ayubsaid, adding that the biggest problem is that they like using herbal medicine that is believed to work magic, only to aggravate the problem. “People need to take oral health very important by visiting dentists since it can heavily effect someone’s health, self-confidence, and social interactions,” he added.

Over the last five years, the Fund has supported the Dental Camp with more than Shs15million which has contributed to treatment of over 5,000 underprivileged people in Kampala.

According to a survey that was carried out among 10 districts in Uganda last year by the Health ministry, 51 percent of the population has experienced a form of oral disease, 76 percent of them being children below the age of 5. 70 percent suffer gum diseases.

The same survey also indicates that only 35 percent of the population accesses dental care with 3.4 percent carrying oral cancer.

According to the government figures, the country currently has 200 dentists, 300 dental officers and 300 public health dental officers, a number which is very insufficient if the number of rising dental problems should be curbed.
The money for teachers’ Sacco that became a source of friction between the Ministry of Education, viagra sale Sports and Science and Technology and Uganda National Teachers Union has been moved away from the Microfinance Support Center.

The Teachers’ Sacco fund was put in place by President Yoweri Museveni where each financial year Shs 5billion would be given out to extend soft loans to teachers who want to engage in other economic activities besides teaching to improve their livelihood.

The allocation was celebrated by both the Ministry of Education and teachers but only for a while before misunderstandings erupted on its management.

The ministry reportedly advised government that the money would be better distributed under Microfinance Support Center. On the other hand, click teachers under their umbrella body the UNATU wanted to manage it with their existing Sacco.

The contention was worsened by the Microfinance`s charging of 5 to 10 percent interest on borrowing which teachers vehemently rejected.

UNATU mobilized teachers across the country to desist from taking the money, that has since accumulated to Shs 25billion.

In February this year UNATU officials and members walked to the Ministry of Education, literally holding the minister of lower education, Kamanda Bataringaya hostage.

The National Resistance Movement caucus and later the minister of Presidency Frank Tumwebaze intervened in the matter without success.

Yesterday Monday, the Minister of Education Jessica Alupo appeared at Parliament with a new announcement.

While facing the members of the Parliamentary committee on Education, she said her ministry has decided to recall the money from the Microfinance support center.

“The money for teachers Sacco that has been channeled to the Microfinance is now going to be reversed to the ministry. We have already signed the agreement for it,” Alupo told the committee.

Alupo also said it was not her ministry`s wish to send the money to the Micro Finance,  but the law that allowed the Solicitor General to direct money to the institution.

“Parliament allowed the Solicitor General to direct the money to microfinance and we are going to use the same law to return the money.”

Meanwhile in the same interface, Members of Parliament were told that the government has failed to get the additional funds for the teachers’ promised salary increment of 15 percent for the coming financial year of 2016/2017.

The minister of state in charge of higher education, Prof Stephen Tikodri said the Finance Ministry did not allocate the Shs 133bn meant for the salary increase.
Core activities at the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) are likely to suffer if government does not provide for funding in the 2016/17 budget.

Appearing before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee to present the proposals for 2016/2017 budget, view the Secretary to the Commission, viagra 60mg Mr Gordon Mwesigye said that 30 percent of their budget is funded by donors but this is going to stop.

“Donor financing is important for running of tribunals and civic education. However, these donors have informed us that come July 2017, this support will stop,” he said.

Mwesigye urged the government to plan accordingly and provide for this funding so that these two core areas are not paralyzed.

“These two areas have to be financed and therefore government has to step in and provide for the 30 percent,” he pleaded.

He also revealed that there is need for more presence around the country in order to have the Commission services availed to all the people both in urban and rural areas.

“We currently have only 10 regional offices in urban areas. We need to have an office for every three districts in order to be felt,” Mwesigye added.

The Uganda Human Rights Commission investigates and resolves human rights complaints through its tribunal, visits jails and prisons and other places of detention to assess the conditions of inmates.

The Commission also monitors government’s compliance with international treaties and conventions on human rights.


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