KABALE:Bishop Akanjuna Warns Against Rising Alcoholism and its Impact on Society”

KABALE –The Bishop of the Diocese of Kigezi, Rt Rev Gaddie Akanjuna has warned Christians against indulging themselves in alcoholism and immorality.

While delivering his Christmas and New year’s message yesterday in his office at Rugarama hill, Northern division Kabale municipality, bishop Akanjuna high lightened that alcoholism is on the rise in the community which has led to the rise of immorality, like family break ups and poverty, among others.

Bishop Akanjuna encouraged Christians to stop alcoholism noting that resultant addiction hinders development, and called them to engage themselves in income generating activities to bolster their family development. He also called upon family members to cooperate and work in unity, especially to handle land fragmentation, stressing that men have left women to do all the work.

Bishop Akanjuna urged parents to use this festive season as a way to talk to the family members as a way to bring the family together reminding them of the loss of a boy child in the involvement in the community activities urging them to support and help them study for the brighter future.

CUE IN; BISHOP AKANJUNA ON ALCOHOL…RR

 Bishop Akanjuna also condemned terror attacks citing the recent attack by suspected ADF rebels in Kamwenge and advised Christians most especially those on border posts to be vigilant, steady fast and be alert and since during festive season people with negative motives tend to use it to harm innocent citizens.

Dr. Diana Atwine Unveils Cutting-Edge Facilities at Uganda Virus Research Institute

ENTEBBE,(UG)-Dr. Diana Atwine, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health, has commissioned new offices and laboratories at the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) in Entebbe Municipality.

Among the new infrastructure is the Medical Research Council (MRC) clinic built to conduct research on infectious and non-communicable diseases.

Other commissioned facilities include a library built for the collection and storage of books among other media material accessible for use by the institute’s scientists and members of allied institutions. Officially opened on Friday was also a sample reception facility that will be the first point of contact and where specimens requiring analysis will be received.

Atwine lauded the management and staff of UVRI plus partners for the new infrastructural developments as well as the scientific research work that was extended from infectious diseases to include non-communicable diseases. Established in 1936, UVRI is a government research institute with a mandate to engage in health research of human infections and disease processes associated with viral aetiology.  

It has been at the forefront to investigate disease outbreaks such as COVID-19 where it was the only scientific investigating institution in the initial three months of the outbreak.

Luweero Mortuary Attendants Take Drastic Action Over Unpaid Allowances

LUWERO,(UG)-Staff members at Luweero Town Council were on the morning of Wednesday the 6th of December,2023 welcomed by a heavy stench after mortuary attendants dumped two decomposing corpses at their offices in protest against non-payment of their wages and disrespect.

The foul smell from the decomposing human corpses caused more scare as residents kept a distance from the Town Council Offices until the protesting mortuary attendants retrieved the bodies after a brief meeting with officials from the town council.

Rashida Namatovu, a resident of Kiwogozi zone in Luweero Town Council who blamed officials for failing to clear allowances of the mortuary attendants, revealed that while the protest was genuine, the action caused discomfort to many people, causing more scare to children in specific.

But the mortuary attendants supported their action claiming that they are not given the body bags among other materials required to safely move the unclaimed bodies to the public cemetery for burial.

The mortuary attendants accuse the Luweero Town Council authorities of failing to pay their respective allowances between the months of April and November 2023 totalling Shs990,000 per person. But Luweero Town Council Vice Chairperson, Nathan Lumu, in a brief interview with journalists claimed that the delay in having the allowances cleared is a result of the late release of funds by the government, and the small revenue resource envelope at the town council.

Early this year, the Luweero Hospital management had appealed to the district authorities over the increasing costs incurred in managing the human bodies at the mortuary that remain unclaimed for more than 3 days.

Safe Water Initiative Launched for 14,000 Residents in Ibanda District

IBANDA (UG)-Over 14,000 residents of Irimya Parish in Kicuzi Sub County of Ibanda district will have access to safe water after the Rotary Club of Mbarara launched a Shs1.4 billion water project in the area.

The project will benefit seven villages which include; Kagyezi, Katongole, Byakazo, Rwebiyongi, Buhindagi, Kuruhisi and Rwenzigye.Launched on Thursday this week, the project is being implemented in partnership with Ibanda district and Acts Uganda. Christine Ngabirano, a member of Rotary Club of Mbarara who heads this water project said that they carried out a needs assessment and found out that residents of Irimya Parish have been using unsafe water and that about 40% of the diseases they contact have in the area are water-borne.

Don Daglous Mugyenyi, President of Rotary Club of Mbarara, said the project will be implemented in a phased manner for two years, adding that one of the areas of focus for Rotary is ensuring bringing water and sanitation services closer to the population in an effort to promote disease prevention.

Nicholus Kagurusya, the Assistant District Governor for western zone three, asked the residents to ensure safety of the water equipment and report any vandalism of pipes and taps to the authorities.

President Museveni Warns School Heads: Ensure Access to Free Education to Combat Rising HIV Cases

KAMPALA (UG)-President Yoweri Museveni has issued a stern warning to government school heads against impeding learners’ access to free education as the root cause of the surging HIV new cases among adolescents.

The President noted that out-of-school juveniles are the most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, a development he blamed on government school heads who have failed to implement the free education policy introduced in 1996 to help children from poor families pursue their education to the end. He made the remarks yesterday during the World AIDS Day commemoration held at Kibaale playground in Rakai district, under the theme: “Ending AIDS by 2030: Keeping Communities at the Centre”.

President Museveni advised parents to keep their children in school in order to control the rising numbers of HIV infections among the young people. He on the other hand, advised Ugandans living with the virus to take medication as prescribed by health practitioners.

The President further urged parents to embrace government programmes such as the Parish Development Model (PDM) and Emyooga in order to improve the livelihoods of their families, noting that poverty is among the lead causes of the surge in HIV infections. According to the recent statistics from the Uganda AIDS Commission, about 52,000 new HIV infections and 17,000 AIDS-related deaths occur every year. These new infections are occurring among the young girls and women between the age of 15 and 24 years.

Every December 1, people around the globe observe World AIDS Day, uniting to show support for people living with HIV and those affected by the virus, as well as to remember those who lost their lives to the scourge.

Unveiling the Reality: Statistics and Insights on HIV Prevalence in Uganda from MUJHU Research, Hiv Infection High Among Girls

KAMPALA,(UG)-As Uganda celebrates World AIDS Day today, scientists and researchers from the Makerere University – John Hopkins University (MUJHU) research collaboration say females still have higher HIV infections.Josephine Nabukenya, the youth coordinator for the Stephen Lewis Foundation Programme at MUJHU says there are more infections in women, especially teen mothers, than men.

According to Nabukenya, whose remarks were in a media interview yesterday in Kampala, rape and sexual assaults lead to the shoot up in HIV infections among women, adding that the financial situation has also often pushed females compared to males for the need of material wealth through reckless sexual lifestyle. With rising cases of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, Nabukenya urged for more research to find a cure for the deadly disease believing that the introduction of antiretroviral therapy (ART) has made the research industry slow to respond to vaccines and better medication, due to laxity and complacency among the population.

Doreen Kemigisha, a public health specialist at MUJHU, called upon parents to always spare time for their children to avoid false information from spreading, regarding the disease. According to the 2017 World Health Report, the prevalence of HIV among adults aged 15 to 64 in Uganda was 6.2 percent of which 7.6 percent was among females and 4.7 percent among males.The percentage corresponds to approximately 1.4 million people living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda.

Anthrax Outbreak Alters Menu at World AIDS Day Commemoration in Rakai District

RAKAI,(UG)-Guests at today’s World AIDS Day national commemoration in Rakai District will not be served meat as the norm has been at most public functions in the area.

The resolution came following an outbreak of Anthrax which has so far claimed 17 lives and left at least 28 others sick in the nearby Kabira Sub County of Kyotera District.

Rakai District Health Officer, Moses Sakor, told our reporter today morning that they received a directive from the President’s Office to serve their guests with other sauce(s) for fear of slaughtering an infected animal.

The Ministry of Health confirmed an Anthrax outbreak on Monday this week, long after locals thought the disease was witchcraft. Humans acquire Anthrax, a bacterial disease, from infected animals or occupational exposure to affected or contaminated animal products.Now, the Rakai District LC V chairperson, Samuel Kaggwa Ssekamwa, has urged all residents to avoid eating meat when they are not sure about its source, with the Kyotera District Health Officer, Dr Edward Muwanga, committing to sensitize communities to contain the spread of the disease.

This year’s World AIDS Day under the theme: “Let Communities Lead” is being commemorated Rakai District, which is part of the Greater Masaka sub-region, where the first HIV case in Uganda was identified in 1982.

Ministry of Health Donates Ambulances To Kigezi Sub region To Enhance the Referral Process For Medical Emergencies

KAMPALA (UG)-The ministry of health has donated five 53 Type B ambulances procured by the Government and Development Partners deployed to constituencies and hospitals across various districts in Kigezi Sub-region to enhance the referral process for medical emergencies.

The official flagging-off ceremony was presided over by the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja at the National Records Centre and Archives in Kampala yesterday.Dr. Abdon Birungi, the Chairperson of District Health Officers in Kigezi Sub-region during the ceremony noted that previously, many Health Center IV facilities would depend on ambulances stationed at Kabale Regional Referral Hospital, creating difficulties in providing services to remote and hard-to-access locations during emergencies.He underscored the importance of equipping Health Center IVs with their own ambulances, emphasizing that this move will notably enhance the region’s referral system, particularly for expectant mothers and accident victims.

Among the beneficiaries in Kigezi Sub-region are the five districts of Kabale, Rubanda, Kisoro, Kanungu, and Rukungiri, while Rukiga District had already received its share.Statistics reveal that out of the 353 constituencies, 192 have ambulances, representing a coverage rate of 54%, while all 16 regional referral hospitals boast a 100% coverage rate.

Kabale District Grapples with Over 1300 Teenage Pregnancies Annually

KABALE: The Kabale District Health Officer Dr. Gilbert Arinaitwe Mateeka has revealed Over 1300 cases of Teenage Pregnancies are being recorded in the District every year.

He made the report yesterday during a stakeholder’s dialogue organized by the Local Sustainable Communities Organization –LOSCO at White Horse Inn Kabale, to discuss Sexual Reproductive Health Issues in the District.

The report read out by Dr. Gilbert Mateeka indicated that Kabale District registered 1,346 teenage pregnancies in 2020, 1,479 cases in 2021 and 1,478 cases in 2022.

He said there’s also a large number of undocumented cases that are not included in the report because the victims never seek professional medical assistance.

The D.H.O explained that the teenage pregnancies are usually unwanted and unprepared for, resulting in both health and psychological effects on the lives of the victims.

The effects include complications during pregnancy and at the time of delivery, while some teens end up in abortion and risks that come along.

He further noted that the biggest percentage of the victims end up dropping out of School, bringing their education career and life dreams to an end.

The Kabale District Senior Health Educator, Dr. Alfred Besigensi and the Executive Director of Kigezi Women in Development (KWID), Florence Tumuheirwe, attributed the problem to insufficient sexuality education.

They argued that teenagers engage in sex at an early stage because they do not fully understand the consequences involved, and how to avoid them.

The Kabale Deputy Resident Commissioner, Ronald Bakak, noted that Uganda was still struggling with unethical law enforcement officers especially in the Police, who sometimes connive with parents to negotiate with suspects of defilement cases.

Mr. Bakaki said that in the end, some cases are never taken to courts of laws, adding that his office would harshly deal with such Police Officers to protect the girl child in Kabale.

The Director of Local Sustainable Communities Organization (LOSCO), Albert Taremwa said the dialogue organized in partnership with Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) was aimed at raising awareness to mitigate maternal mortality, improve and promote access to sexual reproductive health and rights in the Kabale district.

The latest Uganda Bureau of Statistics UBOS report states that the National Teenage Pregnancy rate is at 25%, further indicating that one out of four (1/4) Ugandan women has given birth by the age of 18.Dr Charles Olaro, the director for curative services at the Health ministry recently revealed that government is soon going to allow girls as young as 15 years to access contraceptive services, a policy he argues, will reduce early pregnancies.Dr. Olaro noted that priority will be given to “out-of-school” teenagers and young adults.

This Policy will be subject to Cabinet and Parliament’s approval, but the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa has already expressed discontentment with the idea.While Chairing plenary on Tuesday, Tayebwa asked Government not to approve the Policy that is reportedly still at ministerial level.

Tayebwa’s statements were in agreement with Amuru District Woman Mp Lucy Akello who argued that the policy would legitimize fornication in teenagers.