There is no official national register of pensioners in the country of Uganda

The ministry of Public Service says many pensioners do not show up for verification hence leading to delays in payment of their monthly dues and the once off gratuity. Courtesy photo

By Nelson Wesonga

Kampala

Government says it does not have records of pensioners due to “lack of data and personal files.”

According to the ministry of Public Service, many pensioners do not show up for verification thus leading to delays in payment of their monthly dues and the once off gratuity.

The State minister for Public Service, Mr David Karubanga told MPs during plenary that the ministry will, carry out a census and biometric validation of pensioners starting February 20.

“The ministry of Public Service does not have a national register of pensioners,” Mr Karubanga said yesterday.

“Despite the decentralisation of pension management, a number of votes [ministries] have not verified the records on the payroll.”

A day earlier, Aruu Member of Parliament, Odonga Otto had told the August House that many pensioners have not been paid for several months.

Many were, therefore, depending on their relatives – who already have other financial responsibilities – to pay their bills or to buy basics.

Those without relatives are borrowing items from shopkeepers.

Shopkeepers though can only lend them for a few months expecting to be paid once they get their gratuity.

Following Mr Odonga’s remarks, the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga said the government was treating the senior citizens disrespectfully.

On Wednesday, Mr Karubanga also said the Public Service ministry had for the last four years not carried out verification of pensioners “due to funding shortage and lack of clear addresses" [of the pensioners].

The verification of the pensioners will be done between February 20 and March 24 at the district headquarters by Face Technologies.

According to Mr Karubanga, Face Technologies will do the work, which the ministry failed.

However, it is still not clear how much the ministry will pay the company.

Face Technologies is the company that processes driving permits for motorists.

Workers Members of Parliament Margaret Rwabushaija and the Erute Member of Parliament Jonathan Odur said the government should tell Ugandans when it would pay the pensioners all their arrears.

Mr Karubanga said payments are the responsibility of the Finance ministry.

All that Public Service does is to furnish the Finance ministry with the particulars of the claimants.



There is no official national register of pensioners in the country of Uganda

The ministry of Public Service says many pensioners do not show up for verification hence leading to delays in payment of their monthly dues and the once off gratuity. Courtesy photo

By Nelson Wesonga

Kampala

Government says it does not have records of pensioners due to “lack of data and personal files.”

According to the ministry of Public Service, many pensioners do not show up for verification thus leading to delays in payment of their monthly dues and the once off gratuity.

The State minister for Public Service, Mr David Karubanga told MPs during plenary that the ministry will, carry out a census and biometric validation of pensioners starting February 20.

“The ministry of Public Service does not have a national register of pensioners,” Mr Karubanga said yesterday.

“Despite the decentralisation of pension management, a number of votes [ministries] have not verified the records on the payroll.”

A day earlier, Aruu Member of Parliament, Odonga Otto had told the August House that many pensioners have not been paid for several months.

Many were, therefore, depending on their relatives – who already have other financial responsibilities – to pay their bills or to buy basics.

Those without relatives are borrowing items from shopkeepers.

Shopkeepers though can only lend them for a few months expecting to be paid once they get their gratuity.

Following Mr Odonga’s remarks, the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga said the government was treating the senior citizens disrespectfully.

On Wednesday, Mr Karubanga also said the Public Service ministry had for the last four years not carried out verification of pensioners “due to funding shortage and lack of clear addresses" [of the pensioners].

The verification of the pensioners will be done between February 20 and March 24 at the district headquarters by Face Technologies.

According to Mr Karubanga, Face Technologies will do the work, which the ministry failed.

However, it is still not clear how much the ministry will pay the company.

Face Technologies is the company that processes driving permits for motorists.

Workers Members of Parliament Margaret Rwabushaija and the Erute Member of Parliament Jonathan Odur said the government should tell Ugandans when it would pay the pensioners all their arrears.

Mr Karubanga said payments are the responsibility of the Finance ministry.

All that Public Service does is to furnish the Finance ministry with the particulars of the claimants.



Bukedde alondodde engeri abasibe b’e Luzira bwe bakola bizinensi y'okutunda eby'amaguzi wamu n’okugula bamalaaya:

By Musasi wa Bukedde

 

Added 26th May 2019

 

KU ludda olumu, olengerayo abasibe abakyala be bakeeza mu kisaalu okutema omuddo gw’ente era bavaayo bavulubanye ettosi nga batonnyolokoka nga be bavuluze mu kidiba!

 

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Omusibe ng’apimira abakyala ku muzigo ogumu akawunga.

 

Ku ludda olulala ate gy’osanga abasibe abasajja abatembeeya ebijanjaalo, kasooli n’ebyamaguzi ebirala.

 

Ebibagatta biri bisatu byokka; bonna basibe abali mu yunifoomu y’ekkomera eya kyenvu, bonna bava mu kkomera e Luzira era bonna basibira mu kifo kimu – Namuwongo mu Kampala.

ABASIBE ABAGULA BAMALAAYA BAFULUMA BATYA EKKOMERA?

 

Wadde Luzira limanyiddwa ng’ekkomera erikanga buli alina ekirowoozo ekizza omusango, bw’osanga abasibe abasajja abataayaaya mu Namuwongo Bukasa, Kisugu, osigala weebuuza engeri gye bafuluma!

Ekisooka okukwewuunyisa y’engeri gye bateembeeya ebintu omuli ebijanjaalo, obummonde, obuwunga, ebiruke n’ebintu ebikalu ebirala.

Oba okyali ku batembeeya ebyamaguzi, ate n’osisinkana abali mu birabo by’emmere nga batumya buli kye baagala okulya.

Omusibe omu gwe twasanze mu kirabo ky’emmere ng’atumizza amatooke n’akalo yavudde mu mbeera ng’omuwala aweereza mu kifo ekyo aluddewo okumuleetera obusera bwe yabadde amutumye anywekereze emmere emukke bulungi mu ntumbwe.

 no omusibe alina essimu ne leediyo naye akola gwa butembeeyiOno omusibe alina essimu ne leediyo naye akola gwa butembeeyi.

Mu kubuuza gy’aggye ssente, bakwanukula mangu nti ensimbi zivudde mu bintu by’abadde atembeeya era abeera alinako omutemwa, ate ng’omutemwa omulala gwa baserikale b’ekkomera ababeera baamukkiriza okufuluma agende atunde ebyamaguzi.

Obeera okyewuunaganya ku musibe atuula mu wooteeri n’asaba buli ky’ayagala, n’okuduumira nga bw’aduumira ate ne bakutegeeza nti okumpi awo ku ka loogi mu Yoka Zooni e Namuwongo, abasibe bettanirawo nnyo.

Ku Lwokusatu waabaddewo olutalo ku loogi eyo era abatuuze abaagenze okudduukirira kyababuuseeko okusanga ng’ali mu lutalo, musibe okuva e Luzira mu yunifoomu ye.

Yabadde yeenyoola ne malaaya Fatuma oluvannyuma lw’okufuna obutakkaanya. Omusibe yabadde asasudde malaaya 5,000/- wabula malaaya n’amwefuulira n’awamba n’enkofiira omusibe gye yabadde atembeeya.

Enkofiira yabadde ya mutwalo era awo we waavudde olutalo. Abantu abasinga abaakuhhaanye, omusango baagusalidde musibe wadde nga tebaasoose na kumuwuliriza.

Ate naye bwe yawulidde amaloboozi g’abatuuze abasing nga bamubuuza ekyamuleese okugula malaaya ng’ate ateekeddwa kubeera mu kkomera, olwo n’abivaako n’akwata erimuzza e Luzira.

Abasibe abalala olumu basibira mu bbaala ne banywa ku twenge twe baba baludde okulozaako, kyokka bafuba obutagangayira kubanga okuddayo nga batagala kiba kigenda kubasuula mu ntata naddala mu bakama baabwe ababa babakkirizza okugenda okutembeeya ebintu enjuyi zombi (olw’omusibe n’olw’abaserikale) zifunemu.

Olumu bwe bawulira omwenge gubalippye enkalu, balinnya bodaboda ze zibazzaayo e Luzira.

 musibe omulala ngatembeeya ebyamaguzi emisana ttukuOmusibe omulala ng’atembeeya ebyamaguzi emisana ttuku.

BIZINENSI BAGIKOLERA KU SSIMU

Ebyamaguzi basinga kubitunda ku Lwakubiri kubanga e Namuwongo wabeerayo akatale k’omubuulo era bwe bamala okutunda nga nabo babaako bye beegulira era tekimanyiddwa oba babyetwalira ne babikozesa mu kkomera oba baba babigulidde bakama baabwe.

Okutuuka e Namuwongo bayita ku luguudo lw’eggaali y’omukka nga bava e Luzira era batambulawo kilommita nga ssatu zokka.

Abalala ebintu babitunda Bukasa kubanga awo kumpi nnyo ne Luzira. Wabula bwe bitaggwaawo nga beeyongerayo e Namuwongo ate nawo bwe batunda ne bitaggwaawo nga babyongerayo e Kisugu.

Mu kutuuka e Namuwongo bayita ku poliisi bbiri okuli ne poliisi y’e Kannyogoga eri ku luguudo lw’eggaali y’omukka wabula aba poliisi nabo tebabafaako, ne beeyongerayo nga bwe bayita abaguzi, “Obuwunga bwa lukumi, ebijanjaalo 1,200/- zokka…”

 luvannyuma lwokutembeeya ono yayitiddeko mu tonninnyira okufuna ekyokulyaOluvannyuma lw’okutembeeya ono yayitiddeko mu tonninnyira okufuna ekyokulya.

Olw’okuba tebabeera na buveera, ayagadde okugula amukyamya mu makaage n’amupimira ng’akozesa ebikopo era ebikopo bibiri bibalwa nga kkilo emu.

Obuwunga, ebijanjaalo, amata, obummonde, obusero n’ebiruke ebirala byonna bitundibwa ddondolo era kye kifudde abasibe bano abaganzi. Buli abaguzeeko aba tayagala kubavaako era bamaliriza bamuwadde ennamba y’essimu kw’ayinza okubafunira abaleetere ebyamaguzi ebirala.

Omu ku basibe ttiimu yaffe be yalondodde okumala wiiki eziwera, yatuuse n’okugamba kaasitooma omukyala nti; “Bw’okuba nga sikwata, ng’oweereza obubaka ku WhatsApp, ng’ontegeeza by’oyagala nkuleetere, olunaku lw’oyagala mbireete n’obungi bwe mba ndeeta.”

Amaliriza akkaatiriza nti, “W’onjagalira wonna we nzijjira…” Kiteeberezebwa nti essimu zino za bakama baabwe ababeera babawadde ebyamaguzi okubitunda.

Ebyamaguzi bwe bibeera ebingi, olumu babitambuliza ku kigaali era abamu bambalirako bbuutusi. Babagattirako bu leediyo obutono era abamu batambula bwe bawuliriza ennyimba za David Lutalo n’abayimbi abalala abaliko nga Bobi Wine.

Okutya okunene okuliwo mu kitundu be bantu abalaba abasibe abo engeri gye beeyagalamu era eky’okutya ekkomera ne kibaggwaamu nga basobola n’okwenyigira mu bumenyi bw’amateeka nga beeyinula nabo okuvaayo ne baddukanya emirimu gyabwe nga bulijjo.

 basibe abakyala nga bava okutema ebisagaziAbasibe abakyala nga bava okutema ebisagazi.

Abalala batya nti abasajja abo abataayaaya bwe basisinkana n’abantu be bazzaako emisango, ebiddirira biyinza obutaba birungi kubanga gwe bazzaako omusango abeera agumidde ku kimu – “omuntu eyazza omusango baamusibira Luzira”!

EMBEERA Y’ABAKAZI YENNYAMIZA

Abasibe abasajja abatembeeya ebyamaguzi, olumu bayitira ddala ku baserikale b’amakomera abakuuma abakyala abasindikibwa okutema omuddo gw’ente mu kisaalu.

Abasibe abasajja bayitawo bafuuwa mpa, ng’eno abaserikale abakuuma abakazi bwe bakaayuukira abasibe abakyala okuyingira amangu ekisaalu bateme ebisagazi by’ente.

Abakyala bakuumibwa nnyo era bawalirizibwa n’okugenda mu mazzi wakati ne bavaayo nga bajonjobadde.

Abamu batuuka n’okuggyamu yunifoomu y’ekkomera ne bagenda nga kumpi bali bukunya nga tebeeteekera kutambulira mu yunifoomu eziddugalidde mu kisaalu.

Abasibe abasajja we bambalira bbuutusi, abasibe abakyala bayingira ekisaalu nga bali mu bigere era obweraliikirivu bubeera ku bulamu bwabwe n’endwadde eziyinza okuva mu mazzi amacaafu, n’emisota abatuuze gye bagamba nti gigumba mu lusaalu olwo e Bukasa.

Bwe bamala okutema ebisagazi nga babalagira okubyetikka okubitwala nga babiyisa ku luguudo lw’eggaali y’omukka ne batambula kkirommita nga ziizo okubituusa e Luzira.

Ayogerera amakomera ayanukudde

 rank aineFrank Baine

 

Omwogezi w’amakomera mu ggwanga Frank Baine yasoose kugamba nti buli musibe alina okukuumibwa wabula oluvannyuma bwe yategeezeddwa nti ttiimu ya Vision Group yabadde ekuhhaanyizza ebifaananyi ebiraga abasibe abakola bizinensi, n’alyoka ategeeza nti bagenda kunoonyereza.

Oluvannyuma Baine yannyonnyodde nti, abasibe abalekebwa ne bagenda mu bantu abo baba banaatera okumalako ebibonerezo byabwe nga babateekateeka okudda mu bantu.

“Abamu baba baluddeyo nnyo nga tebalina na we batandikira era olumu baba bakoze ebintu bingi mu kkomera naddala ebiruke nga baagala babitunde batuuke okuyimbulwa nga balina akasente kwe basobola okutandikira.” Baine bwe yategeezezza.

Yagambye nti abasibe abo babeerako abaserikale ababalondoola nti era abaserikale abo babeera mu ngoye ezaabulijjo, kyokka ttiimu ya Vision Group emaze wiiki ssatu ng’egoberera abasibe bano teyalabye ku muserikale yenna.

Baine era teyannyonnyodde baserikale abo gye babeera mu kiseera abasibe we bagendera mu buloogi okufuna bamalaaya!

Ku bakazi abagenda mu kisaalu okutema ebisagazi by’ente yagambye nti: Abakazi okutema ebisagazi tekiriimu buzibu kubanga bya nte za kkomera ate ze zivaamu amata abaana baabwe ge banywa.

Abasinga ku bakyala abo balina abaana mu makomera. Wabula ate olumu abasibe abasajja abatembeeya ebintu olumu mu bye batunda mubeeramu n’amata ge bagamba agava mu nte z’ekkomera era Baine teyannyonnyodde oba ku ssente eziva mu mata, abakazi abatemera ente ebisagazi bafunako! Bwe yabuuziddwa ku ky’okuteeka abakazi mu buzibu nga bayingira ekisaalu awatali wadde okwesabika kwonna, Baine yayanukudde nti:

“Nze nkuze kutuuka wano, sirabangayo mulunzi atema bisagazi asooka kwambala ‘ggiravuzi” (nkampa ezisabikibwa emikono n’engalo).

Yagambye nti bafuba okussa ekitiibwa mu ddembe ly’abasibe, kyokka babakozesa emirimu emisaamusaamu naddala egibayambira awamu ng’abasibe.

Emboozi zino ziri wansi w’enkolagana ya Vision Group ne DGF okutumbula eddembe ly’obuntu n’okuyamba abantu okufuna obwenkanya.

Nb

Kirungi nyo Bukedde okulaga abasibe bwebayisibwaamu nokutumbula edembe lyobuntu, nga bali mumakomera ge ggwanga lya Uganda. Omuwi womusolo naye nalaba nga sente ze bwezikozesebwa mumakomera gano. Era nga technology gyagenda yeyongera munsi zonna, abasibe abamu batekebwako akawuliriza nebafulumizibwa mumakomera nebabatuuza awaka wabwe nga bwebongera okwetegereza empisa zabwe, nga bagenda bamalayo ebibonerezo byabwe.

 

 

 

 

Eyatundidde mukyala we mu nnyumba Poliisi emukutte:

By Peter Ssaava

Added 6th March 2018

 

Eyatundidde mukyala we mu nnyumba Poliisi emukutteBud1 703x422

Omukyala gwe baasudde mu nnyumba ng'ali n'abaana be

 

POLIISI ye Nansana ekutte omusajja atundidde mukyala we mu nnyumba oluvannyuma n’amulekera abaana nadduka ewaka n'agenda awasa omukazi omulala.

Moses Kinobe. 45 nga mutuuze mu zooni ya Nansana East II zooni ye yakwatiddwa oluvannyuma lwa mukyala we Ruth Natukunda okwekubira enduulu ku poliisi nga bba bw’atunze ewaka nadduka nga talina na buyambi bwamuwadde.

Kinobe yagguddwako omusango gw’okutulugunya omukazi era naggalirwa mu kadukulu ka poliisi ye Nansana ng’okunonyereza bwe kugenda mu maaso.

 

 

 

 

 

In Uganda, a two-year-old baby has been  found by neighbours alive with her dead mother's decomposed body on Christmas holidays:

27 December, 2017

By ALI MAMBULE

BUGANDA STATE, MASAKA- Residents of Kitengeesa Trading Centre in Buwunga Sub-county, Masaka District were on Wednesday shocked when they found a two-year-old girl locked in a house with a body of her mother.

 The residents say, the woman whose identities are not yet established might have died inside the house about two or three days ago.

 The area Local Council 1 chairperson, Mr  Qudra  Mwanje said that the residents were attracted by a foul stench and flies that came out of the house.

 “The door remained locked for some days but when we opened it, we found the baby girl seated on the bed. The body of her mother was laying on the same bed,” Mr Mwanje said.

 “The body was producing an unpleasant smell and fluids,” Mr Mwanje said.

 He said they found some edibles in the house.

 Police officers from Masaka Police Station took the body to Masaka Regional Referral Hospital for a post-mortem.

 The baby was handed over to the Police Child and Family Protection Unit as a search for relatives of the dead woman and the baby ensues.

 

 

 

 

In Uganda at Soroti government hospital in the Northern Province, the essential service of the mortuary has been closed:

Closed. Relatives wait for bodies  that had

Closed. Relatives wait for bodies that had been temporarily kept at the Soroti hospital mortuary on December 5, 2017. PHOTO BY GEORGE EMURON 

By GEORGE EMURON

Soroti Regional Referral Hospital has closed its mortuary services following a breakdown of its refrigeration system.
According to the hospital administration, the four-capacity refrigerator became faulty about two months ago and Shs4.6m is needed to have it fixed.

Currently, residents who seek autopsy and preservation of bodies have to move 100km to either Lira or Mbale hospitals.
Some are now opting for quick burials for their deceased relatives as they cannot meet the costs of transportation and treatment involved. 
“It wasn’t our wish to have the late buried in such a quick way but we had no cheap option as the mortuary was down,” Pastor Rogers Ekaju said, while referring to the renowned deputy Bishop for Soroti Baptist church, Moses Elebu, who died a fortnight ago.
He added: “We thought of having the body transferred to Lira but we were told that the mortuary was also overstretched with no guarantee of space.” 
On Tuesday, relatives who had their deceased temporarily pushed in the morgue were waiting to rush the remains of their bodies home for burial.
In an interview with Daily Monitor, the hospital director, Dr Francis Mulwanyi, confirmed the situation and appealed for government’s quick intervention.

Dr Mulwanyi said the hospital is planning for a big refrigerator due to the high demand.
The senior hospital administrator, Mr Paul Ajuku, said there has been delays in procurement.
“You cannot use government resources the way you buy food for your family. Government has its own procedures as regards procurement and accountability. And these must be followed,” Mr Ajuk said.
He revealed that the current morgue has two tables and can only accommodate four bodies.

According to Mr Ajuk, for autopsy services, the hospital charges Shs150,000 per body, which is credited to the hospital account.
He said the hospital which serves eight districts that constitute Teso sub-region, receives close to 1,000 patients weekly with several death registered. 
Although the crisis has not affected them yet, the East Kyoga police spokesperson, Mr Michael Odongo said the services offered at the morgue are so crucial in the day to day activities of police.

Other cases

In March 2016 , the Pathology Department at Mbarara University of Science and Technology teaching hospital has closed the mortuary following the breakdown of the refrigeration system and asked the police to stop taking dead bodies there.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

 

 

 

It’s now pay for medical treatment or die in the Uganda public hospitals as the medical staff continue to strike for poor wages:

November 15, 2017

Written by ZURAH NAKABUGO & NICHOLAS BAMULANZEKI

At 2pm yesterday, Aisha Namaganda rushed her sister’s son to Good Samaritan hospital in Mbuya, Kampala.

The boy, about four years old, had suffered massive burns from the head, across the torso down to his thighs. The red flesh glistened where skin had been burnt off by hot water.

Unable to deal with the extreme injuries, staff at Good Samaritan pointed Namaganda to the National Referral Hospital Mulago. Under normal circumstances, Mulago’s burns unit would have treated the boy’s case as an emergency.

But these are unusual times: Mulago is being renovated and Kiruddu hospital to which they were referred is one of the three facilities built to accommodate these kinds of cases but is also essentially shut-down by the crippling doctors’ strike.

Aisha Namaganda (L) waits without getting much help at Kiruddu hospital. She is carrying her sister’s child burnt by hot water yesterday

Wailing from the pain, the little boy and his aunt were shown to the waiting area by receptionists; no sense of urgency in their response to what was a clear emergency.

In shock at what had befallen her little one, the boy’s mother had remained at home. By press time, 8pm, this emergency case had not been attended to – another example of the grief which government’s refusal to increase doctors pay is causing. 

KAWEMPE HOSPITAL

Across town, a teary Mariam, a resident of Matugga, narrated the excruciating pain she went through to deliver her child last Saturday at Kawempe General hospital, also a subsidiary of the National Referral Hospital Mulago.

If she had known better, Mariam would have paid up front as it later became clear that those who could shell out the cash were being treated as ‘emergencies’.

The young mother says she reached Kawempe General last Tuesday (November 7) at 1pm. There were very few doctors around since most of them had laid down their tools as the pay dispute with government rambled on.

“The labour pains had started but the nurses advised me to be patient and wait for the few intern doctors who were moving around the ward and they advise them on what to do since I had remained with a few centimeters to give birth,” she said.

Mothers waiting to be discharged from Kawempe hospital

As the labour pains intensified, the nurses seemed unbothered even when Mariam called for them. She suffered through blinding pain throughout that day.

Not a single doctor checked on her since the available few doctors were busy with other patients whom the nurses described to her as emergency cases.

“The next day my mother struggled so much and brought a doctor to check on me if I was ready to go in the labour ward due to the much pain I was feeling. The doctor advised me to go for a cesarean operation since the baby was tired and could no longer manage to push itself through normal delivery and I might lose it,” Mariam said.

She said, doctors lined her up on the list of patients to be operated that day and ordered the nurses to prepare her.

“I kept on waiting for nurses to take me to the theatre but it was in vain. After some hours, they told me that I was removed from the list because the doctors were working on the emergencies and I was rescheduled for the next day,” Mariam said.

Mariam said she just managed to save her baby’s life after getting advice from a patient on the hospital bed next to hers who told her to give money to the nurses.

“The following day in the morning, I called the nurse and gave her Shs 50,000. She immediately understood what that meant without even telling her anything. She took me to the theatre very fast saying that I was also an emergency,” she said.

Mariam was shedding copious tears as she spoke to The Observer, recalling how the skeleton staff of doctors on call during this strike will not ask a patient for money directly either because they fear or because of untidiness of it all.

They instead work through a subtle arrangement with nurses: the money is funneled by nurses on their behalf.

WOMEN VOTE MUSEVENI

She said before paying for her operation as she waited outside the theatre, a group of nurses abused them, saying that it’s women who always vote for President Museveni, so let them suffer.

The implication being that Uganda’s mothers should pay for the failure by Museveni’s government to sort out public health service delivery.

They said, “When they say temugikwatako, you keep quiet but when they say bagikwateko you say yyeeeeeeee…., okay. We shall cut you.” I got scared. I thought that I was not even going to make it, but thank God I was operated successfully and my baby is okay,” she said.

Mariam was operated upon on Saturday and has been on treatment. The doctors prescribe drugs which she buys from outside the hospital.

“None of us here has ever been given a single free drug; neither paracetamol nor cannula because we buy everything from out and a few doctors available help to administer the drugs.”

Another patient, Margaret, whom The Observer found in the elevator moving to the 5th floor to breastfeed her baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) was also weeping. Margaret was tired and hungry; she had not eaten a thing since morning because all the money she had, she had given to the nurses and doctors to help her deliver.

She said when the strike had just started, doctors were accepting between Shs 20,000 and Shs 50,000, but as the strike progressed, the going rate doubled to between Shs 50,000 and Shs 100,000 for normal deliveries, and between Shs 300,000 and Shs 400,000 for an operation.

“But if the strike continues, the charges will go up to Shs 1 million. The government should help us and find an immediate solution for the doctors’ salaries and welfare,” Margaret said.

She said many mothers who come to deliver in the night are ignored if they don’t have money; so, the majority are forced to leave. Only God knows what becomes of them.

Speaking off the record, sources at Kawempe General also said that an unknown number of mothers and babies have died during this strike since there are very few intern doctors working and they can’t manage complicated issues.

“Every time you see people crying when they have lost their dear one because they have no money to bribe doctors and the few doctors available can’t manage all the patients,” a source said.

The doctors at Kawempe who didn’t want to be quoted said, they are being very understanding with their fellow Ugandans and that is why they still come and work.

“In Kenya, all the doctors, nurses and midwives went on strike and they never returned to work until their problems were solved. But in Uganda at least a few of us have managed to work to save the lives of Ugandan mothers who are giving birth any time yet our problems are not yet addressed,” a doctor said.

One doctor said if the strike continues, they are also going to give up because they are very few and can’t manage the overwhelming number of patients flooding the hospital.

At the Naguru-based China-Uganda Friendship hospital, Jesca Bereebera who had come to pick her drugs for high blood pressure and diabetes, arrived at 8am. She left at noon without seeing any doctor.

“I came here for doctors to prescribe drugs for my pressure and buy drugs outside because I wasn’t feeling well. But since morning, none of the doctors has attended to us apart from seeing them moving around pretending to work yet they are doing their own things,” she said.

Melesa Nalumamsi, a resident of Muyenga, also left Naguru hospital without seeing a doctor. One of her breasts hurts so bad she needs urgent attention.
Sarah Nakandi at Naguru hospital said if you have money and pay doctors, they work on you. “I have also given them money and they are now looking for some drugs to give me,” she said.

IMMUNIZATION ON

However at Naguru hospital, the children’s clinic for immunisation was still open and all babies were receiving their vaccines, although the nurses too threatened to join the strike if the government doesn’t address their problems too.

A nurse immunises children at the Naguru-based, China-Uganda Friendship hospital yesterday

“We have been immunizing children every day since the strike started and our senior principal nursing officer told us to work saying that the strike is for doctors, not for nurses. But our worry is that we are working as nurses while doctors strike but if the government considers doctors only and leaves out nurses, we shall also strike,” a nursing officer at Naguru said.

She said they immunise over 60 babies at Naguru hospital every day and they can’t leave babies to suffer.

The doctors’ strike has entered its 10th day with no end in sight. Their long-standing demands for better remuneration remain unmet.

Instead, Health minister Jane Ruth Aceng last Thursday threatened to sack doctors on strike before addressing their problems. Her threats aggravated the situation, deeply upsetting the few intern doctors who were assisting patients, prompting them to also lay down their tools in solidarity with their senior colleagues.

zurah@observer.ug

In Uganda, where there is free Education, the African girl students continue to drop out every other day from formal education: 

Monica Naiga (L) and Imelda Kyompiire (R) are

Monica Naiga (L) and Imelda Kyompiire (R) are out of school due to teenage pregnancy. PHOTOS BY BEATRICE NAKIBUUKA 

When third term began, some children who ought to be in school did not make it back. 
Some may have dropped out school as recently as last term probably for financial reasons while others dropped out a long time ago.

While government and non-governmental organisations have highlighted the importance of educating girls, for several reasons, many girls of school-going age are left out.
According to Kenneth Kapuru, the child protection officer at Action for Community Development (ACOEV), sometimes it is about culture. Some people still think that a girl’s contribution to the household is more valued than her personal education.

“In many parts of Uganda, poverty is a big concern. Sometimes there is not enough to eat. Considering the school fees and other requirements, some parents opt to keep their daughters at home and send the boys to school instead,” says Kapuru.
If there is not enough food or clean water, girls may not be well enough to attend school. For these and other reasons, girls remain out of school.

For lack of sight
Since June 30 this year, Jane Nakafeero, (13) has been out of school. The Primary Three pupil from Namato Primary School in Nakasongola District is not in school due to a sight problem. 
At the beginning of the year, Nakafeero complained about reduced sight but her parents could not afford to take her for a checkup and the accompanying treatment.

With the help of ACODEV, Nakafeero was brought to Mengo Hospital in Kampala where several tests and a surgery were done but this did not improve her situation.
James Kabugo says, “The doctors said that by the time we took her to hospital, it was too late. The problem had worsened. Now she cannot attend a normal school.”

“I can only see things that are very near and while in class, I cannot see clearly on the blackboard,” Nakafeero says shyly. 
Having gone through an unsuccessful eye surgery, when she was taken for review, the doctor recommended that she attends a school for children with visual impairment.
The 2014 national demographic health survey (UDHS) shows there are about 500,000 people with low vision and blindness in Uganda.

Forced marriage
Grace Nuwatekateka (16) lives with her grandmother in Kyabigulu village in Nakaseke District. Irene Sanyu, the district probation and social welfare officer for Nakaseke received a phone call about the ongoing marriage of the 16-year-old girl.
Nuwatekateka was to be married off to one of the sub-county councillors of Kinoni sub-county. Sanyu contacted Kiwoko police and travelled to the scene to stop the function. 
The case was reported in July 2017 but the girl has been out of school since the start of the year. The councilor, who is already married, promised to give Nuwatekateka’s guardians cows in exchange for their daughter and she had been withdrawn from school ahead of the marriage.

Kapuru says, “Even when the marriage was stopped, we are not sure this girl is safe because she is still in the custody of the same guardians who supported the marriage. ”
The major barriers to girl’s education in Uganda are adolescent pregnancy and early marriage. According to Unicef about 35 per cent of girls drop out of school because of early marriage and 23 per cent because of early pregnancy (Unicef, 2015).

Trafficked Peninah
For eight years, she has moved from one family to another working as a maid. Peninah Nandudu (17) is not in school because her father trafficked her. She was only two years old when her mother died, and this was the end of her dream of ever going to school. She has never entered a formal classroom.

Nandudu is residing at Remnant Generation Ministries in Busega where she is nursing an eight months old son. 
“I stayed with my aunt when my mother died but when I was about eight years old, my father asked me to go and live with him and my stepmother. The rest of my siblings who he had with his new wife were going to school but when I showed interest, he said it was too late for me to go,” she recalls.

Since she was not in school, Nandudu was then taken to the coastal town of Mombasa where she worked as a maid when she was about nine years old. Her father was promised Ksh3,000 every month.
“At every end of month, my father would call my boss who sent him the money which I had worked for,” Nandudu says. He said I would use the money in future so he claimed to keep it for me.”
When she returned from Kenya, her father told her he had bought a small goat from her earnings and the rest of the money was used to take care of the family.

She says, “My father sent me to work for a woman in Mengo and while there, I noticed I was pregnant. I had been sleeping with a boy in Kenya but I did not know what was going to happen.”
Her father then told her to get an abortion and return to work. However, her new boss helped her seek refuge at Remnant Generation Ministries, a rehabilitation home for teenage mothers.

Case of teenage pregnancy
Imelda Kyompiire was brought to the Remnant Generation Rehabilitation home in 2016 because she had conceived. The 17-year-old got pregnant at 16 years. 
“When my father learnt I was pregnant, he sent me away from home. The father of my child, however, was a student like me and I was afraid of living with his mother so I went to my older sister,” she recalls.
When she was five months pregnant, she put up in a rented room where she lived alone.

Kyompiire says, “I called to inform my mother that I had delivered and pleaded with her to allow me to return home. She said I was only going to breastfeed the child for three months because she could not take care of me and the child.”
For five months, Kyompiire breastfed her child but had to take them to their father’s family when her mother said she was taking her back to school. Although she has not done so to date. Kyompiire believes whatever happened was a mistake but her father cannot forgive her.

She says, “I now live with my mother but my father does not want to look at me. I am trying to be a better person. I regret what happened in the past. I wish parents would grant children who become pregnant another chance. Sometimes I just want to be heard and feel loved.”

Her father will not pay school fees
Monica Naiga wishes to become an early childhood development specialist. She reported for the first term of Senior Five but she has been out of school since February this year. 
“My father got another wife and thereafter, we never got his care again,” she explains. 
While the latest national household survey indicates that one in every five persons aged 15 and above has completed secondary education, if she is not given help, Naiga is set to become one of the many children left out.

Education status of the girl child in Uganda

In primary education, gender parity is at 91 per cent of the school-age population being enrolled. However, female literacy rates lag behind at 49 per cent compared to 69 per cent of males and gender gaps widen at secondary and tertiary school (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 2015).

Data from the Ministry of Education and Sports shows that school dropout in the country is higher at the primary level than at secondary level because of lack of interest, pregnancy, early marriages, hidden costs at school and family responsibilities. 
In Uganda, the rate of teenage pregnancy is at 24 per cent but increases up to 34 per cent in the poorest households. In rural areas 24 per cent of girls experience early pregnancy compared with 16 per cent of wealthier households and 21 per cent of urban girls (UNICEF, 2015). 

Many cultural scenarios in Uganda stigmatise pre-marital pregnancy among girls both in school and in communities because it is seen as a taboo. A girl who gets pregnant while still at school may be victimised on morality grounds. Early pregnancy has been found to cut short a girl’s education where girls withdraw themselves from school early or after giving birth (report by Ahikire and Madanda 2011).

The practice of early marriage is still prevalent in Uganda and is highly associated with lower female access to secondary education. In 2013, Uganda was ranked 16th among 25 countries with the highest rates of early marriages, with 46 per cent of girls marrying before 18 years, and 12 per cent before they are 15 years (World Vision, 2013).