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


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.



 It is to develop the elderly of Africa, Uganda financially.

Secondly, it is to assist the needy and disabled.

Third, it is to humanely visit the sick and stressed.

Fourth it is to create financial projects for the needy to generate income for the elderly and young.

This organization has carried out such activities as:

Cake and bread baking.

Members have been involved in rural building construction and road making and repairs.

Members have been involved in decoration on functions.

Members have been involved in all means of assistance in burial ceremonies in the communities.

Ugandan workers less educated, poorly paid

Publish Date: Sep 22, 2014

A Ugandan worker is less educated and poorly paid.

By Samuel Sanya 

MOST working Ugandans are only educated up to secondary level, work for 10 years, six days a week and earn at least sh403 per hour according to a wages survey.

In the wage indicator survey, released recently, 1,306 Ugandans from all administrative regions were interviewed by the Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE) in conjunction with Dutch and Tanzanian researchers.

Conservative estimates place Uganda’s working population at 17 million. The average working week of respondents is almost 60 hours and they work six days per week.

Slightly over half (51%) work evenings, seven of 10 workers report working on Saturdays, while four of 10 work on Sundays.

Nearly half of the workers in the sample were managers. Only two of 10 workers had a permanent contract, three of 10 were on fixed term contract while four of 10 workers said they are entitled to social security.

Despite the low numbers entitled to pensions, respondents indicated having four dependants on average. The analysis showed that 77% of the workers were paid on or above the poverty line of sh403 per hour or $1.25 (about sh3,000) per day.

Five percent of workers had no formal education, 14% studied to primary education 48% had secondary education certificates, 16% had a college education and 17% a university degree. Only 62% of informal workers are paid above the poverty line compared to 97% of the most formal workers.

Workers in trade, transport and hospitality are most at risk of poverty with 30% paid less than a dollar a day. Public servants are best paid. At least 92% earned above the poverty line.

Labour State minister Rukutana Mwesigwa recently revealed that Cabinet is considering creation of a wage board and a minimum wage.

The Government last set a minimum wage of sh6,000 in 1984. In 1975, the Minimum Wage Advisory Council recommended a sh75,000 minimum monthly wage. It remains on paper.

Why are the poor citizens of Uganda receiving money that is accounted for as a national pension for the elderly of this country?

Photo by Fred Muzaale


Posted  Tuesday, July 5   2016 

The Senior Citizens Grant in Uganda is given to the elderly aged 65 and above to help them live decent livelihoods; however, in some districts, it is the young, energetic poor that are being given the money.

Over 110,000 persons aged 65 and above in 141 sub-counties, towns and 6,028 villages in 15 districts are beneficiaries of the Senior Citizens Grant (SCG) that was started in 2010. SCG is one of the essential modules of the Social Assistance Grant for Empowerment (SAGE), financed by government and development partners such as DFID and Irish Aid.

SCG is aimed at enhancing access to basic needs such as food security, better nutrition, health care and improving housing among others which is legal onus of the state to provide wellbeing and upkeep for the elderly.

David Lambert Tumwesigye, advocacy advisor at Expanding Social Protection (ESP) at the Ministry Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) calls upon the new MPs to join the Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Social Protection (UPFSP) so that they can advocate care for the elderly.

What do MPs say?

Agnes Taka, Bugiri Woman MP, appreciates the services that have been offered to the elderly through SAGE. However, she calls upon the government to be open and involve grassroots leaders when selecting beneficiaries saying it will help to avoid issues of segregation.

“We need to know what criterion is followed when choosing SAGE beneficiaries. It is perturbing to learn about activities being done in your constituency from locals. Leaders need to be involved,” argues Taka.

She wonders why majority of the 15 districts where SAGE has been enrolled and the next 20 districts targeted to benefit from the programme are not from poverty stricken areas.

She asks her colleagues to push the government hard so that there can be transparency in the enrollment.

Rtd Lt Cyrus Amodoi, MP Tonoma County, Katakwi district, marvels at why the programme in some districts has been shifted from the elderly to the poorest people.

“What I have seen is that there is political interference in some parts where SAGE has been enrolled. In some places they target the poorest people instead of senior citizens,” says Amodoi.

In response to MPs queries, Drake Rukundo, Policy and Monitoring and Evaluation, UPFSP, says they have on ground people who gather information for the befitting citizens. He encourages the MPs to advocate countrywide enrollment for the elderly.

Rukundo says they want government to commit resources as a priority towards social protection to help the elderly live decent livelihoods because they are the bridge between the past and the future.

He applauds the 9th Parliament for being instrumental in ensuring the survival of the SAGE programme and extending it from 15 districts to additional 40 districts in the next five years.

In the FY 2015/16 Budget process, Parliament made a resolution where the SAGE programme was to be rolled out to the whole country covering 100 oldest persons in every sub-county.

Tumwesigye says the 10th parliament and the government did their work and it remains critical that all districts get covered for fairness and equitable development. The new MPs are expected to enlist to become members so that advocacy on social protection is boosted.

The forum undertakes to provide information and create spaces for engagement on issues touching social protection.

The cabinet passed the social protection policy which proposes a myriad of progressive interventions that if implemented will significantly contribute to the journey from third world to middle income status as envisaged in the Vision 2040.

However, even with the current roll-out plan, only a total of 55 districts will be reached leaving out 57 districts. To maximise pressure on government, the Forum has conducted regional consultative meetings that bring together Members of Parliament, District Chairpersons, District Community Development Officers and the civil society.

Reports from the Ministry

Reports from the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development indicate that the senior citizens grant is increasing productive investment where 32 per cent of the beneficiaries use the money to buy livestock or engage in petty trading while 27 per cent of the beneficiaries invest their money in hiring additional labour to work in their gardens.

“At least 16 per cent of the beneficiaries save their month’s payment purposely to cover emergencies, 17 per cent use the gratuities to support productive investments, cultivation (15 per cent and meeting the educational needs of children and/or grandchildren taking 14 per cent,” reads the report on expanding social protection programme for senior citizens grant.

According to the report, majority of the senior citizens grant beneficiaries spend the large part of their transfers on food leading to increased frequency, quantity and quality of meals eaten by beneficiary households.

The report further shows that SCG beneficiaries especially women consistently report improved participation in community affairs, sense of self-esteem and empowerment. Older people report feeling less discriminated against in their communities and more valued by their families on account of their ability to make social contributions to community-based social support mechanisms which are based on reciprocity like contributing to funerals and weddings.

About SAGE

SAGE is a financial support programme for people aged 65 years and above. Currently, the programme is covering 15 districts. A total of 40 more districts have been lined up to benefit from SAGE by 2020.

In the 2015/16 budget, over Shs30b was expected for the national rollout where 100 persons per sub-county were to benefit but government committed Shs9 billion only.


The suffering lady of Uganda from the killer disease of cancer:

This is the lady usually found on the streets of Kampala:






The country of Uganda is among 6 states with half of world’s malaria cases:


6th December, 2019


By Lilian Namagembe

Testing. A medical officer takes a blood sample from a child for a malaria test at Kamuli Health Centre III in August 2018. Uganda has again been named one of six African countries that account for more than half of all malaria cases in the world. PHOTO BY EDGAR R. BATTE  

The 2018 report released last year had also shown that Uganda accounted for 4 per cent of the world’s malaria cases, making it to the top five countries responsible for nearly half of all malaria cases worldwide.

Other countries are Nigeria, the DR Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Mozambique and Niger accounting for 25 per cent, 12 per cent, and the rest four per cent each while Uganda accounted for five per cent.
“The incidence rate of malaria declined globally between 2010 and 2018, from 71 to 57 cases per 1,000 population at risk. However, from 2014 to 2018, the rate of change slowed dramatically, reducing to 57 in 2014 and remaining at similar levels through to 2018,” the report by World Health Organisation (WHO) reads in part.

The report also shows that globally, the malaria burden last year was the same as that in the previous one in all other countries, apart from Uganda and India, where there were reported reductions of 1.5 and 2.6 million malaria cases, respectively.
Uganda also had the highest percentage of the population at risk of malaria sleeping under long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) among high burden to high impact countries at 80 per cent while Nigeria had the lowest population of the same at half of the former.

However, Uganda was named among countries with 30 per cent or less of pregnant women receiving three doses of intermittent preventive treatment pregnancy (IPTp3) in 2018. Others are Cameroon and Nigeria.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general WHO, said the malaria scourge continues to strike hardest against pregnant women and children in Africa.
“We must all do more to protect the most vulnerable in the fight against a disease that continues to claim more than 400,000 lives every year. Malaria in pregnancy compromises the mother’s health and puts her at greater risk of death,” Dr Ghebreyesus warned.

Current upsurge

The report comes at a time when the country is faced with an upsurge of malaria, which the ministry has attributed to heavy rain.
In a recent interview with the Daily Monitor, Dr Jimmy Opigo, the programme manager at Malaria Control Programme at the Ministry of Health, said the upsurge started in August 2018 before peaking in June this year. “The second reason is, the nets we gave out in 2017 are worn out and lost in most homes with net coverage falling below public health coverage levels,” Dr Opigo said, adding that the government currently spends $100m (about Shs370b) due to the current upsurge.
West Nile Sub-region has got the highest cases and deaths per population resulting from refugees, low mosquito net use, poor housing, sleeping in groups, poor care-seeking behaviour, and low access to care, among others.






The World Health Organization has unveiled a plan to tackle global snakebite so that an emergency treatment is easily possible to save lives:

The real dangers of Snakes and pythons in the countryside;


Added 25th May 2019 


Each year, nearly three million people are bitten by poisonous snakes, with an estimated 81,000-138,000 deaths.

The World Health Organisation has unveiled a new strategy to dramatically cut deaths and injuries from snakebites, warning a dearth of antivenoms could soon spark a "public health emergency".
Each year, nearly three million people are bitten by poisonous snakes, with an estimated 81,000-138,000 deaths. Another 400,000 survivors suffer permanent disabilities and other after-effects, according to WHO figures.
In a new report, the UN health agency urged the international community to take steps to address the problem, which it warned had long been dangerously under-estimated and neglected.
WHO, which two years ago categorised "snakebite envenoming" as a Neglected Tropical Disease, presented a strategy aimed at cutting snakebite-related deaths and disabilities in half by 2030.
Snake venom can cause paralysis that stops breathing, bleeding disorders that can lead to fatal haemorrhage, irreversible kidney failure and tissue damage that can cause permanent disability and limb loss.
Most snakebite victims live in the world's tropical and poorest regions, and children are worse affected due to their smaller body size.
An important part of the strategy is to significantly boost production of quality antivenoms, WHO said.
Production of life-saving antivenoms has been abandoned by a number of companies since the 1980s, and availability of effective and safe products is disastrously low in Africa especially, with a similar crisis also looming in Asia.
"Without urgent reshaping of the market, greater regulatory control and other measures, a public health emergency is imminent," the WHO report warned.
The UN agency called for "the restoration of a sustainable market for snakebite treatment", insisting on the need for a 25-percent increase in the number of competent manufacturers by 2030.
WHO said it planned a pilot project to create a global antivenom stockpile.
The strategy also called for integrating snakebite treatment and response into national health plans in affected countries, including better training of health personnel and educating communities. 
The Doctors Without Borders charity praised the strategy, saying it "could be a turning point" in tackling snakebite poisoning, which it said "kills more people than any other disease on WHO's Neglected Tropical Diseases list."
"The toll that snakebite envenoming takes on people around the world truly represents a hidden epidemic," MSF Tropical Medicine Advisor Gabriel Alcoba said in a statement.


Omukyala muddwaliro lya Uganda, azadde baby ow'ekizimba ekinene ku mutwe ab'oluganda lwomukayala ono nebamulagira omwaana amutte oba amusuule:

By Henry Nsubuga


Added 3rd March 2019



Muk2 703x422

Omukyala ng'alinomwana we gw'azadde ng'alina ekizimba ku mutwe


OMUKAZI yeekubidde enduulu eri abazirakisa ng’ayagala bamutaase ku mbeera emusobedde oluvannyuma lw’okuzaala omwana ng’alina ekizimba ku mutwe nga kisinga n’omutwe gw’omwana obunene.


Rebecca Nanjule (34) omutuuze w’e Nakifuma mu disitulikiti y’e Mukono y’asangiddwa mu ddwaliro ly’a St. Francis e Naggalama ng’ali mu maziga obw’emirundi ebiri okuli eky’okuba ng’omwanawe ali mu bulumi bwamaanyi, ng’ensimbi ezisasula mu ddwaliro aveeyo zimubuze ate nga n’ab’oluganda lwe abandimudduukiridde bamulagidde asooke kusuula mwana balyoke bamuwe ssente.


 mwana nga bwafaanana oliuvannyuma lwokuzaalibwa nekizimba ku mutwe

Omwana nga bw'afaanana oluvanyuma lw'okuzaalibwa n'ekizimba ku mutwe


Wabula ye ekye yagaanye okukikola ng’agamba nt’omwanawe amwagala tayinza kumusuula ng’ate yamuzadde mulamu bulungi.

Nanjule mwennyamivu nnyo okulaba nga ne kitaawe (amannya yagasirikidde) naye yamulagidde okumuwa ssente asooke kusuula mwana!

Yategeezezza nti omwana ono ow’obuwala abasawo baabadde bamukozeeko ng’azze bulungi engulu okumala ennaku 5 ze baabadde baakamala mu ddwaliro okuleka eky’okuba nti yabadde alina obulumi bwamaanyi nnyo ng’ekizimba kimusika buli lw’aba ayagadde okusitula ku mutwe.

Dr. Raphael Opon eyasangiddwa ng’awa omwana ono obujjanjabi yagambye nti baafuna omukyala ono okuva mu kalwaliro ak’okukyalo gye yali agenze okuzaalira ne bamulemererwa bwe baakizuula nti omwana ono yali asoosezza kigere kimu ate bwe yeekyusa naddamu n’asooma kitundu kya mutwe okuli amaaso kwe kusalawo okumuddusa mu ddwaliro eno mu bwangu.



Ono yalongoosebwa bulongoosebwa nga Dr. Opon yagambye nti  baamwongeddeyo mu ddwaliro e Mulago oba e Mbale mu Cure Children’s hospital awali abakugu abayinza okwongera okwekebejja embeera y’omwana ono n’okulaba oba ayinza okulongoosebwa.


Muganda wa Nanjule eyasangiddwa nga ng’amujjanjaba Racheal Nanziri yasabye abantu okuvaayo babadduukirire n’ensimbi batwale omwana waabwe afune obujjanjabi obw’ekikugu basobole okumukuza.

Alina obuyambi asobola okutuuka ku Nanjule ng’ayita ku ssimu nnamba, 0701281394 ng’eri mu mannya ga Racheal Nanziri.


Omugenzi Dr Cook Mugema yamutuma okugenda okukola kubujjanjabi bwabantu awo mu Ankole 1910. EbyobuChristayo Abanyankole nga tebabyagala nakamu. Omukama w'Ankole nabasamize beyalina bamuwa omulwadde omuzibu amukoleko. Yamulongoosa namuwonya ekizimba ekyali kimuteganya okukamala. ObuChristayo nokujanjjaba kwekikugu mu medical science, nokutuusa kakati buyambye nyo obulamu bwabantu okulwanagana nendwadde. Maama beera nokukiriza Omukama akuwadde omwaana oyo yamanyi enjiri jabulira abantu ba Katonda nga nawe mwoli ebiro bino nga ayita mumwaanawo oyo.


Anti bano abagamba okusuula abaana bebalabika nga bali mukusamira okukyamu okuli wano e Buganda. Bakimanyi nti omwaana ng'oyo bakama baabwe ababakulembera mukusamira kwabwe tebayinza nakamu kubatuma kuleeta mwaana ng' oyo okumuwayo mu sadaaka zaabwe zebakola ezitulugunya abaana ba Tonda.


Nyabo omuzadde waliwo oluyimba olwobuChristayo olugumya enyo omwoyo nga wesanze mubuzibu obunene. Abasawo abaChristayo muddwaliro balumanyi. Luyimbe ojakufuna amanyi nyabo.

Lwananga Olutalolwo Okulwana Okulungi

Lekanga okweralikirira, Tulina omusaale waffe






Researchers in North America are exploring new ways of killing malaria when its lodged in the blood of the liver:



Added 8th December 2018


After around six years of work, 631 candidate molecules for a "chemical vaccine" have been identified -- a normal vaccine that would allow the body to make antibodies.


Malaria 703x422
A medical sample of the malaria infected blood under close examination in the reaserch laboratories

"It's very difficult to work on the liver stage," said Elizabeth Winzeler, professor of pharmacology and drug discovery at University of California San Diego School of Medicine.

"We have traditionally looked for medicines that will cure malaria," she told AFP.

For the latest research, published in the journal Science, scientists dissected hundreds of thousands of mosquitoes to remove parasites inside them.

Each parasite was then isolated in a tube and treated with a different chemical compound -- 500,000 experiments in all.

Researchers found that certain molecules were able to kill the parasites. 

After around six years of work, 631 candidate molecules for a "chemical vaccine" have been identified -- a normal vaccine that would allow the body to make antibodies.

"If you could find a drug that you give on one day at one time that will kill all the malaria parasites in the person, both in the liver and in the bloodstream, and last for three to six months. Yeah, that'd be super but there is no drug like that right now," said Larry Slutsker, the leader of PATH's Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) programs.

Reducing the number of doses is crucial.

That's because many medications available today must be taken over three days, said David Reddy, CEO of Medicines for Malaria Ventures.

But often, after the first dose, a child begins to feel better and the fever lessens. Parents then keep the other two doses in case another of their children falls ill.

"That has two impacts. First the child does not get cured properly and secondly it builds drug resistance," Reddy said.

Illness develops

Malaria is caused by a miniscule parasite, called Plasmodium.

Female mosquitoes transmit the parasite when they bite people for a meal of blood (males do not bite). 

Then, the parasite lodges in the liver and multiplies. After a couple of weeks, the population explodes and parasites run rampant in the blood.

At this stage, fever, headache and muscle pain begins, followed by cold sweats and shivering. Without treatment, anemia, breathing difficulties and even death can follow, in the case of Plasmodium falciparum, which is dominant in Africa.

The research published Thursday offers a "promising path, as long as it last several months," said Jean Gaudart, professor of public health at the University of Aix-Marseille.

Gaudart said new approaches are necessary because resistance is on the rise in Asia against the most effective treatment using artemisinin, derived from a Chinese plant.

"We really need new compounds," he said.

Now it's up to researchers to confirm which of the 631 molecules identified have a real shot at wiping out this global scourge.

The World Health Organization said last month that global efforts to fight malaria have hit a plateau, with two million more cases of the killer disease in 2017 -- 219 million -- than the previous year.

Malaria killed 435,000 people last year, the majority of them children under five in Africa.

The first malaria vaccine for children -- called RTS,S -- will be distributed in thee African countries in 2019, though it only reduces the risk of malaria by 40 percent after four doses.

Despite billions of dollars spent, the world still has not found a real effective solution to malaria.






It is more hygienic  to use WATER after using toilet paper from visiting the universal toilet:

KAMPALA- Using dry toilet paper for anal cleaning leaves feaces behind, which exposes one to urinary tract infections (UTIs), doctors have confirmed.

The recovery comes after a new revelation by the American doctors that dry toilet paper “moves shit, but it doesn’t remove it”, which makes women to develop UTIs as the bacteria moves to the urethera.
“If they’re using dry paper, they aren’t washing all of themselves. It’s just unclean,” one of the American doctors says in an article published on the UK’s Daily Mail news website.
Dr Ekwaro Obuku, the president of the Uganda Medical Doctors Association (UMA), confirms that one should use both toilet paper and water for cleaning. “Toilet paper removes the faeces while the water cleans everything thoroughly. However, in our setting where most people do not wash their hands after visiting the toilet, the most important thing is to encourage them to do so,” Dr Obuku says.

Ms Irene Kasule, a nurse, approves Dr Obuku’s assertion, saying she does not feel clean when she does not use both toilet paper and soap.

“I think it is better we use both…it is disgusting to touch the faeces directly … first clean with tissue then use water for thorough cleaning,” Ms Kasule says.
However, others argue that using water alone is not practical since it would mean they have to touch the faeces directly.

“Toilet paper would do better because it can dry easily other than water …it is hard to use that bare hand to wipe,” says Ms Allen Nakanwagi, an entrepreneur.

Dr Vincent Karuhanga of Friends Polyclinic in Kampala emphasises that using water or wipes would be the best if one can manage to wash their hands well after visiting the toilet.
“What is true is that 70 per cent of the bacteria that causes urinary tract infections come from the anus, and pure wiping is one way in which it can be prevented,” Dr Karuhanga states, adding that toilet paper makes it[the faeces] to stick there and that many people have hair in the bums.

Recent statistics from the Mulago Hospital obstetrics and gynaecology department have also indicated that at least five cases of UTIs are registered on a daily basis, with doctors arguing that women are more exposed because of the proximity of the urethra to the vagina.

Yet, Dr Charles Kiggundu, a gynaecologist at Mulago Hopital, in a recent interview, said some women have a habit of cleaning themselves from the anus to the vagina, hence increasing chances of getting infections.

In most cases, it is usually Muslims who use water for cleaning after relieving themselves as dictated by the Islamic toilet etiquette as opposed to their Christian counterparts.
The same etiquettes, however, recommend the use of stones in the absence of water.
Worse still, most families in Uganda, especially those in rural areas, cannot afford toilet paper and many improvise with leaves and sometimes stones. Some students and pupils in schools reportedly rub their bums against the wall.


It has got to do with the ladies of a modern lifestyle who have picked up the modern habit of not cutting their beautiful nails to a workable size.



At 108 years of age, the Iganga man of Busoga is still going strong: 

Mr Sefatia Kyirongero attends to his maize

Mr Sefatia Kyirongero attends to his maize garden recently. He grows traditional crops such as maize, beans and cassava. 


 At 108 years, Mr Sefatia Kyirongero, a resident of Busowobi Village in Nakigo Sub-county, Iganga District, is believed to be one of the oldest people in the area. 
Mr Kyirongero, who aspires to surpass 200 years, says he has never fallen sick in the last 55 years. 
He takes herbs and wild plants to fight diseases.

According to Dr Angela Namala of Jinja Regional Referral Hospital, it’s possible for a person to live longer if they take good care of their bodies.
“Herbal intervention and nutrition are crucial for one’s body,” she says.

Mr Kyirongero says he has never had any kind of sickness, not even a simple cold and hasn’t taken medicine or visited a health facility since.
Even when he comes in contact with someone with any airborne disease such as flu and cough, he would not contract it.

This, he attributes to, among others, eating traditional foods such as potatoes, cassava, maize, yams and vegetables as well as wild fruits.
With a few strands of grey hair, his teeth are relatively intact and very few people can tell his age.

However, when asked about his age, Mr Kyirongero says: “I was born on September 3, 1909 - during the reign of chief Nsobani.”

This reporter caught up with Mr Kyirongero when he was working on his maize garden. At his home, you are welcomed by a picture he took with the Bishop of Central Busoga Diocese Patrick Wakula, on his birthday party on September 3, which he said was organised by his grandchildren.
During the celebrations, Patrick Izimba Gologo, the hereditary Chief of Kigulu Chiefdom, one of the 11 chiefs that make up Busoga Kingdom, corroborated his age and so have some residents.

Last week, a senior official from Uganda Bureau of Statistics, who requested to remain anonymous, told Daily Monitor Mr Kyirongero was indeed 108 years based on the information obtained during the 2014 population and census.
He digs with considerable energy for about 15 minutes without taking a break on his garden which comprises crops such as maize, beans and cassava.

He is also still going strong at his carpentry workshop where he makes products such as hoe holders, wooden doors, windows, mingling sticks and mortars. These products are made from trees that he planted around his home and are sold by his grandchildren.
“I am still strong and I don’t see why I should remain seated at home. Digging helps me remain healthy and physically fit,” he says while twisting his elbows and head to show his fitness levels.
Mr Kyirongero adds that in his 30s, he was an avid wrestler, who rarely lost fights.
His wrestling exploits, he explains, took him across competitions in Busoga sub-region; and it was because of his tactics and winning skills that his fans nicknamed him ‘Wakayima’.
“I was so good at marking my opponents and whenever we had a fight, revellers would chant: Wakayima, teach him a lesson,” he says.

Work and education
Mr Kyirongero has ever worked as a casual labourer at Kakira Sugar Works. He says he studied up to Junior One at Bukonte Junior School in Nakalama Sub-county, Iganga District.
He dropped out of school to help his parents with farming, adding that his father, the late George Kyirongero, was a carpenter and while at home, he used to train him in crafts and carpentry where he gained skills.

He has a lot of history to tell across the political, social and cultural spectrum. Notably, how men of the colonial era barred women from eating chicken until the Europeans came and banished the practice.

“Men made it a taboo for women not to eat chicken; but one day, a European man came and told a rural gathering that refusing women from eating chicken was the reason why some of them were not producing children. It was from then that women started eating chicken and nothing happened to them,” he narrated.
Pressed for the origin of the taboo, Mr Kyirongero explains that men were simply gluttons, stereotyping women as inferior and denied them chicken because it was a delicacy.

His opinion about Land Bill
The elderly, who owns several acres of land in the village, says he used to admire President Museveni, but the proposed Land Amendment Bill before Parliament has made him rethink his obsession for him. 
The Bill, he says, reminds him of former President Apollo Milton Obote, who allegedly wanted to grab his land. 
“I used to love (President) Museveni of all the Presidents; but I hate his policy on land. People started grabbing our wetlands and now they want to take even where we stay like what Obote wanted to do,” he says.
This newspaper could not independently verify this.

The widower, father of seven and grandfather of 30 children, lost his two wives: Getrude Babiwemba and Norah Kanseka, 28 years ago.

Omwana e Buganda azaliddwa nga alina obukazi n’obusajja:

By Lawrence Kitatta ne Ruth Nazziwa:


Added 20th September 2016


Mu bitundu by’omwana ebyekyama, mwalimu akantu akalinga akatulututtu akanene akaatandika okukula era oluvannyuma lw’emyezi ebiri kaali kavuddemu akasolo k’omusajja.


Omwana ne bakadde be


JUSTINE Nakato bwe yatuuka okuzaala yakubawo omwana wa buwala. Ye ne bba Steven Ddembe Mbaziira 42, ne bajaganya olw’ekirabo kya “ssukaali” Katonda ky’abawadde.

Mu bitundu by’omwana ebyekyama, mwalimu akantu akalinga akatulututtu akanene akaatandika okukula era oluvannyuma lw’emyezi ebiri kaali kavuddemu akasolo k’omusajja.

Bbebi kati aweza emyezi mwenda. Bw’akunkumula omusulo tegukyayita mu bukyala wabula mu kasolo k’omusajja akazze nga kakula mpola, Katonda akola ebyamagero!

Omwana munyirivu nnyo. Talina wamuluma. Anywa bulungi n’okulya, azannya, yeebaka bulungi era akula ng’abaana abalala.

Abazadde b’omwana babeera naye e Nsambya- Keviina. Baamuzaalira mu Nagojje Health Centre e Mukono.

Nakato yategeezezza Bukedde nti yazaala bulungi. Ne bamusiibula oluvannyuma lw’ennaku bbiri. Jjajja w’omwana yali amunaaza ekyogero n’alaba ng’akantu akaali kazimbye bwali busajja.

Ekitegeeza omwana yalina ebitundu byombi- obukazi n’obusajja. Omwana baamuzzaayo ku kalwaliro gye baamuzaalira ne babasindika mu ddwaaliro eddene e Kawolo-Lugazi.

Omusawo yakebera omwana n’azuula ng’alina obukazi n’obusajja n’abawa ebbaluwa okumwongerayo e Mulago. Omusawo eyabakolako e Mulago yassa omukono ku bbaluwa ng’alaga nti ye Dr. Daniel.

Ebbaluwa y’omusawo eraga nti omwana mulenzi kubanga talina nnabaana era n’enkula y’ebintu ebisinziirwako okwawula omusajja ku mukazi byonna omwana ono alina bya kisajja. Kyokka ate ku ngulu endabika ye ya mwana muwala.

N’obusajja bwe butono nnyo ate bufubutukirayo mu bukazi. Talina nsigo z’abasajja (entula). Kati obusajja bwe buwanvuye era buliko n’akatuli mw’ayisa omusulo. Afuka bulungi.

Kyokka abazadde b’omwana bagamba nti Omusawo yabawa lipoota tebaddayo kumulaba. Bwe baddayo e Mulago tebaafuna abayamba.

Dr. Victoria Nakabuuka akulira ekitongole ky’abaana mu ddwaaliro e Nsambya yategeezezza nti omwana ow’ekika kino basooka kumukebera ne bakakasa ekikula kye ekituufu.

Bwe bazuula, bakebera kwe kyava. Olwo ne batandika okumujjanjaba okusinziira ku bye bazudde. Ssente ezetaagisa nazo zisinziira ku kye bazudde. Bw’aba yeetaaga kuba musajja bamukolera busajja oba mukazi bamukolera bukyala. Kyokka bakikola mu mitendera.

Abazadde b’omwana beetaaga ssente kwe batandikira. Batuukirire ku ssimu 0752577231 oba  0786044457 mu Uganda.


Lwaki Government ya Uganda teyanguwa mangu kukola ku mwaana ono nga nabasoma obusawo awo e Makerere oba abasomesa obusawo bwebongera okuyiga okumanya ekisanidde okukolebwa. Abazadde tebalina kusonda sente nemu kunsonga eno.  Omusolo gwaffe gwetuwa gumala okuddukirira omwaana ono! Omwaana ono wa Ggwanga lya Buganda.

A national Day for the senior citizens in Uganda

By Namaganda Rehema Bavuma

Uganda currently has about 1.5 m people over the age of 60. Several arguments have been made in the past, and it is evident anyway, that majority of the elderly in Uganda are living in a precarious situation that calls for urgent care and attention.

With over 40% of them acquiring disabilities in old age, therefore having mobility limitations, many are unable to access health care, take care of the orphans and dependents that we often leave to them.

Accessing water especially in rural communities is a double burden for the elderly whose health and mobility are already compromised. There is thus no doubt that there is need for urgent attention to the needs of the elderly.

The question that we have not yet answered precisely is: who should actually provide this urgently needed attention and care for the elderly?

Whereas elderly doesn’t necessarily mean frailty, studies on ageing and disability have proved that for many of them, their ability to accomplish the activities of daily living within and around the home imposes unimaginable pain and difficulty. With the exception of the 4% of them who have access to the (hard-to-get) pension, the 96% have no reliable source of income as they are usually unable to engage in productive economic activities.

The Senior Citizens Grant that is currently being piloted under the “Expanding Social Protection Program” offers elderly people a direct income support of Uganda shillings 23,000 - about US$8 per month.( is still a drop in an ocean.

For long we have held the notion that care for the elderly in Africa is provided by the neighbors, relatives and the communities at large. Time has come however that we can no longer hold onto that notion anymore when current evidence suggests otherwise!

Forces around us, such as modernization, urbanization and changing gender roles, are all negatively influencing, the the level of social support and care available for them. Studies too have indicated that as the nuclear-type family structure is becoming more common worldwide, the care and support during old age is no longer automatically provided for.

It is time to replace the inadvertent, impulsive and unplanned traditional care systems for the elderly with a more deliberately conceived mode of care for these very important persons in our society.

The first assured way for us to start providing this urgently needed attention, is to instigate a National Day for the Elderly. Among others the day will provide a platform for the elderly to articulate their problems to affirm the studies carried out. The national day will draw the attention of policy makers and the entire public to the needs and rights of the elderly. Above all, it will be a stepping stone towards the implementation and operationalization of the many very good policy documents that have been drafted in an attempt to address the needs of the elderly.

The writer is a PhD student and researcher

The Disabled people of Uganda are appealing to their government to have access to pubic buildings:

                      A disabled kid in Uganda struggles to walk with wooden handle bars

People with disabilities (PWDs) have urged the government to implement the 2013 Building Control Act to enable them access public facilities.

They argue that most public buildings in the country are not reachable by PWDs due to absence of facilities such as toilets that can be accessible to people in wheelchairs.

Addressing journalists at Hotel Africana on Monday, the executive director of the Uganda National Action on Physical Disability (UNAPD), Apollo Mukasa, said this should not be the case because the relevant law was signed by President Yoweri Museveni on October 2, 2013.

“The law has not been officially declared operational and that’s why inaccessible buildings [to PWDs] are coming up,” he said. “We need all public construction activities to consider PWDs in all the buildings.”

The chairperson for UNAPD, Arthur Blick Sr, blamed their PWD representatives in parliament, who he said are more interested in keeping their positions.

“They have left the rest of the work to be done by us as organizations,” Blick said. “This was their primary job but they are not doing it. They should start talking on our behalf and doing what they are supposed to be doing in parliament for us.”

PWDs also want the government to consider the policy on Special Needs and Inclusive Education (SN&IE).

The policy, which was approved by the ministry of Education and Sports in 2011, has not been implemented because it lacks a financial implications certificate from the ministry of finance.

Vincent Kafeero, the projects coordinator for UNAPD, said the organization strives to ensure that all children, including those with disability, benefit from education.

“For that to materialize, there must be a policy and we came up with one. But the policy is still on the shelves,” he said.

This policy, according to UNAPD, would work in respect of the constitutional provisions to the PWDs.

For example, Article 30 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda (1995) provides for the right to education; whereas Article 32 provides for affirmative action in favour of marginalized groups on the basis of gender, age, disability or any other reason created by history, tradition and custom.

Specific aspects that the policy intends to address include specialized instructional materials and equipment, support services, curriculum adaptations, assistive devices, capacity building, assessment, infrastructure and funding. The policy would also emphasize the role of development partners for effective coordination.

UNAPD believes the policy would increase enrollment, participation and completion of schooling by persons with special learning needs.


This will continue to be a dream for the citizens of Uganda as the NRM government consolidates a return to the Movement system of governance!


Modern Workers may need to retire as late as 81 years old:

Press Association
By Vicky Shaw, Press Association Personal Finance Correspondent

These British report findings raise the prospect of some people having to "work until they drop" to sustain their current lifestyles.

An average earner who starts saving for a pension aged 22 and makes the minimum statutory contributions would need to work until the age of 77 to get the sort of "gold standard" pension enjoyed by many of their parents' generation, the research from Royal London found.

This is defined as a total pension, including state pension, equating to two-thirds of that person's income before they retired, and it would include protection against inflation as well as provision for a surviving spouse.

Even to get a "silver standard" pension of around half of pre-retirement income, with inflation protection and provision for a spouse, the same worker would need to work until the age of 71, the report found.

But with wages varying across the country, those in high-income areas need to build up much more private pension to maintain their current living standards than people in lower wage areas.

In several areas of London, including Camden, Wandsworth, Bromley, and Richmond upon Thames, people may need to work until their 80th birthday to achieve their current living standards in retirement, the report found.

In Westminster, someone may need to work until the age of 81 to reach the gold standard - while in Boston, Lincolnshire, they would need to work until the age of around 73 - a gap of eight years.

In Scotland, a worker would be aged 77 by the time they achieved their retirement gold standard, while in Wales and Northern Ireland they would be 76.

Former pensions minister Steve Webb, who is now director of policy at Royal London, said: "It is great news that millions more workers are being enrolled into workplace pensions, but the amounts going in are simply not enough to give people the kind of retirement they would want for themselves, and certainly not the sort of pensions that many of those retiring now are enjoying. "Even in lower wage areas people face working into their early seventies to get a comfortable retirement.

"In higher wage areas, the state pension makes a much smaller contribution so workers in those areas face working well into their seventies."

Even within regions, there are sharp variations in the length of time it takes for people to save for a gold standard pension.

The report found that in Burnley in Lancashire, for example, someone could achieve their gold standard pension by the age of 74, but in the nearby Ribble Valley, where average wages are higher, they would have to wait another three years typically, until the age of 77.

Mr Webb continued: "The best antidote to having to work well beyond normal retirement ages is to start saving early and to increase pension saving.

"A good tip is to review your pension saving when you get a pay rise as you are less likely to miss money you have never had. Increasing your contributions when your pay goes up is the best way to avoid having to work until you drop."

Here are the average ages at which people across the regions can expect to achieve their gold standard pension age, followed by the silver standard age, according to the analysis from Royal London, with some examples for each region within the figures:

  • North East, 76, 70 (Hartlepool, 76, 70; Sunderland, 75, 70)
  • North West, 76, 71 (Rochdale, 75, 70; Liverpool, 76, 71)
  • Yorkshire and the Humber, 76, 70 (York, 76, 71; Harrogate, 77, 71; Bradford, 75, 69)
  • East Midlands, 76, 70 (Nottingham, 74, 69; Derbyshire, 76, 71)
  • West Midlands, 76, 70 (Warwick, 78, 72; Birmingham, 76, 70)
  • East of England, 78, 72 (St Albans, 80, 75; Cambridge, 78, 73)
  • London, 79, 73 (Camden, 80, 75; Hackney, 79, 73; Westminster, 81, 76)
  • South East, 78, 72 (Buckinghamshire, 79, 73; Oxford, 78, 72; Chiltern, 80, 75)
  • South West, 76, 71 (Bath and North East Somerset, 77, 72; Bristol, 77, 71)
  • Wales, 76, 70 (Cardiff, 76, 71; Newport, 76, 70; Merthyr Tydfil, 74, 69; Conwy, 77, 71)
  • Scotland, 77, 71 (Aberdeen City, 78, 72; Dundee City, 75, 70; City of Edinburgh, 78, 72; Glasgow City, 77, 71)
  • Northern Ireland, 76, 71 
                               Dr Stella Nyanzi  

Fellow staff, students attack lecturer over undressing and insubordination, as Stella Nyanzi meets investigative committee

Makerere University’s controversial researcher Stella Nyanzi was yesterday fighting for her job, as fellow staff condemned her for stripping in a protest against Prof Mahmood Mamdani.

Dr Nyanzi hit headlines on Monday, when she stripped to get her office at the Makerere Institute of Social Research opened. MISR director Mamdani had locked the office after Nyanzi repeatedly refused to teach on the institute’s PhD programme.

The anthropologist has since divided public opinion, variously praised as a courageous woman scorned by a bully-boss, and criticised as a figure of insubordination. Nyanzi spent much of yesterday meeting the university director of human resources, Dr Mary Tizikara, and later a committee investigating the row, chaired by Prof David Bakibinga.

According to staff at MISR, Dr Nyanzi arrived at around 8am,  picked a batch of papers from her office and drove away – to meet the human resources director. It was not immediately clear what transpired in Nyanzi’s meetings with the officials. Dr Bakibinga could not be reached by telephone by press time.

But Nyanzi was expected to explain why she is so unhappy with Mamdani’s leadership, which has seen several senior staffers quit MISR. Her view is that Mamdani is autocratic and bulldozes employees; hence her refusal to teach is to be understood as a revolt against maladministration.

Mamdani, for his part, says that Nyanzi promised to teach on the PhD programme only to get the job and use MISR facilities to do private work. Mamdani says he is fighting a culture he found entrenched at MISR, where researchers allegedly used public facilities for private business.

According to the vice chancellor, Prof John Ddumba-Ssentamu, the Prof Bakibinga committee is expected to present its report to senior management for deliberations today, Friday.  And last evening, university spokeswoman Ritah Namisango insisted the committee would file its report today, despite having only two days to consider a four-year-old wrangle.


On Monday, management is expected to present its report to the university’s appointments’ board, led by Bruce Kabasa. Both Dr Nyanzi and Prof Mahmood Mamdani are expected to be invited to explain themselves.

The Observer yesterday spoke to several staff, students, and other university officials – and found indications that opinion could be starting to shift against Nyanzi.

Several lecturers who declined to be named insist that Dr Nyanzi could come out of Monday’s meeting weakened – mostly for undressing. The university regulations, one lecturer said, forbid staff from conducting themselves in a manner likely to negatively affect the university’s moral standing. University staff are also forbidden from inciting students to protest without substantial grounds.

Dr Fred Tanga Odoi, the head of the University Convocation and member of the University Council, who was found at Makerere, had no kind words for Nyanzi.

“I’m here to request management to take action against Dr Stella Nyanzi immediately. A PhD is the highest academic qualification one can get: for one to do what she did is the equivalent of raping the academia,” Odoi said. “If management does not take action by Monday, I will call the convocation to consider taking action against Dr Nyanzi and the vice chancellor. You can’t just dilly dally on the matter for four years and take no action. Either he prevails over Dr Nyanzi, or he [vice chancellor] resigns.

Odoi wondered what would happen if students refused to take a test and strip in protest.

“Dr Stella Nyanzi must be seen to leave the university immediately. She must be suspended immediately.”

Dr Muhammad Kiggundu, chairman of the Makerere University Academic Staff Association (Muasa), condemned Nyanzi’s decision to strip, which he said was tantamount to immorality. On the substantive issues of Nyanzi refusing to teach, and on Mamdani’s alleged mismanagement, Kiggundu was noncommittal.

“As Muasa, we shall sit on Monday to consider the matters thoroughly. We wanted the Bakibinga committee to get to the bottom of the matter. We want a permanent solution to the situation,” Kiggundu said.

However, a day earlier, a member of Muasa had told The Observer that Nyanzi’s was a case of insurbordination.


Although many students have supported Nyanzi’s campaign against Mamdani, others are critical of her – mostly outraged by her stripping. Aidah Loy, a third-year student of Business Statistics, said she was “pissed” by the academic.

“For heaven’s sake, she is a mother. How could she dare do such? I really condemn it. If I was the vice chancellor, I would have fired her already.”

But Brenda Muhairwe, a second year student of Journalism and Communication, was sympathetic: “That is the only way she could have her issues addressed. She is a mother, how was she going to support her family if she lost her office. I’m happy it really worked for her.”

This view was shared by Blanshe Musinguzi, fourth-year student of the same course. However, Musinguzi said that by stripping, Nyanzi acted “out of proportion”.

For Harriet Nakisolya and Latifah Nabukalu, both second-year students of Records and Archives Management, the issue was the tenability of Nyanzi’s position.

“How will she again appear before students? We all get annoyed, but should we all start moving naked?” Nakisolya wondered.

Evelyn Akech, a first- year student, argued that Nyanzi should have found other means of regaining her office: “I think she would have sued the person who locked her outside in courts of law.”


Dr Euzobia Baine Mugisha – Lecturer in Gender studies

What she did is a disgrace. I can understand fighting for one’s rights, but we have established channels for raising these issues. What I have issue with is for people to come out now and act holy and right, but Dr Nyanzi’s actions are indefensible.

Grace Nakayiwa – Administrator 

I feel offended that a woman of her academic standing can descend to that level. The fact that she is even allowed to continue working here is terrible.

While she has been a very friendly and approachable person, she has descended to such unacceptable levels – even going to extent of using unbecoming language in public. Her decision to use F-words and other explicit language demeans all of us as women.

Prof James Kigongo – Lecturer in Philosophy

What Dr Stella Nyanzi did is unbecoming of someone of her stature of learning. She disgraced all women who are dear to us. We can’t tolerate this.



The college students are mature kids who should not be bothered by the misunderstandings of their lecturers in the administration of this institution.

One who dismisses you from a job gives you more wisdom to get on with ones life.

Some of these African tribes people have incredible cultures in their sexual inter- relationship. Some go for their sisters and close cousins etc, etc. and some do not. One wonders what is the general standard moral value of the African tribes people on this planet.

Grandmother died after electric armchair caught fire as she slept in it

By the Guardian newspaper, UK.
Patricia Mallon was once the oldest
winner of BBC1’s quiz The Weakest Link.


An elderly woman died after the electric armchair she had fallen asleep in caught fire, an inquest into her death heard.

Patricia Mallon, 84, who was once the oldest winner of BBC’s quiz show The Weakest Link, was sleeping in the “lift and rise” chair at her home in Bournemouth, Dorset, when the fire started.

The coroner has written to the manufacturer, after hearing that fluid had caused a spark in the chair’s mechanism.

Mallon, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and had limited mobility, set off her personal wrist alarm when the flames spread.

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She was found on the floor by firemen with burns to her back and taken to hospital. She died three weeks later on 3 November from multiple organ failure, pneumonia and burns with smoke inhalation.

On Wednesday, Sheriff Payne, the Dorset coroner, recorded a verdict of accidental death. He has written to manufacturers Sherborne Upholstery who will be given 56 days to reply. A report of the findings are expected around April.

He said: “I will write a report to the manufacturers and ask if there are any steps they can take which might mitigate any events happening in future.”

Mallon, a grandmother of six, took part in The Weakest Link in 2010, when she was 78, and won a cheque for £1,150. The show’s host Anne Robinson congratulated her afterwards and told Mallon she was the oldest ever winner. She lost her mobility in recent years and bought an electric armchair to help her when standing up out of it.

Stuart Granger, of Dorset fire and rescue service, investigated the case and said fluids seeped into the mechanism of the armchair, causing the fire. He said there was no evidence the fire had been started deliberately and the insurance company’s investigator had corroborated his findings. He said the chair was found to rarely have any manufacturing faults.

Granger said: “In my gathered opinion, the most likely cause of this fire was an electrical fault in the chair, caused by the ingress of fluid into the chair.”

The chairs are advertised as having powerlift facility to assist sufferers of arthritis, rheumatism, multiple sclerosis, poor circulation and many other mobility restrictions. On its website, the manufacturer assures quality standards writing: “Furniture is checked at every stage of production to make sure that our high quality standards are maintained,” yet does not state whether products are fireproof.

Mallon’s daughters Claire Leslie, Delia Gorse, Maria Mallon and Anne Lydon described their mother as a very colourful character. Leslie added how the chair was her mother’s pride and joy, and said: “It would be just horrific for this to happen again.

“The majority of these chairs are bought by the elderly. Is it something that should be investigated by the manufacturers? That has to be looked at because this was a tragedy. It’s terrible but something’s got to be done.”

Sherborne Upholstery, which has its main factory in Bradford, West Yorkshire, has grown from a small family business into a successful upholstery company with two factories and more than 250 employees. The company said it would not be making any comment on the case when contacted by the Guardian.



Jajja Flora with one of the children she looks after

In a small, muddy courtyard three kids are playing while a woman washes away a heap of clothes.

In the vicinity, two teenagers - a boy and a girl – are engrossed in the task of preparing firewood to cook beans on the traditional three-stone fireplace.
On a squeezed verandah of the two-roomed house, Florence Nakimbugwe caresses three-year-old John, who is resting soundly on her lap.

Welcome to Jajja Flora Happy Children’s Home in Kiyindi Zone, Kira town council. This modest homestead is home to 18 children, mostly orphans and others abandoned by their parents.

Unlike well established orphanages and babies’ homes elsewhere, Jajja Flora, as Nakimbugwe is fondly known, runs this household just as she would if these were her biological children. The home is without a license although Jajja Flora, who has done this for more than two decades now, is well known in the community, and even by the police in the area, as a Good Samaritan.

“I don’t do it as a business,” she tells me on my first visit here, on October 13. “It’s because of my passion and love for children.”

However, Jajja Flora, who started out in Makindye in the 1980s, is aware that while passion and love are very essential in her work, they are not enough.

She has had to rely on like-minded kind hearts such as Rev Fr John Chrysostom Oduc (popularly known as Fr Tom by his peers), the parish priest of Sipi in Kapchorwa district.

Fr Tom, who accompanied us to this humble children’s home last month, got to know about Jajja Flora and her inspirational work through his friend and old boy, Patrick Okoth, a telecom engineer.

When he visits, Fr Tom often carries along some cash or essentials such as food, clothes, soap and other items for the children. This time, he told Jajja Flora that his goodies were in form of journalists who would transmit her story to a wider audience.


Previously, Nakimbugwe has been interviewed by one of the local television stations. After welcoming us warmly, she excitedly told us that we could find her pictures and story on Facebook.

But she added that reading from Facebook would mean missing bits of John’s story, the latest arrival at the home - the boy she was carrying on her lap when we arrived. John was brought here three months ago after his unidentified parents abandoned him in Katanga slum, near Wandegeya.

Jajja Flora's home from where she looks after several children

A Good Samaritan phoned Jajja Flora and she quickly picked him. Jajja Flora recalls John as a malnourished child with swollen cheeks and feet at the time she collected him but he now looks the opposite.

Another child, seven-year-old Florence, was a toddler when her mother dumped her in a nearby stream in Kira. Florence has since grown into a lively girl. Majority of the children, currently in the home and those who have gone through it, have endured similar experiences; they don’t know who their biological parents are and have never tasted their parental love.

Nevertheless Jajja Flora does her best to ensure that the children are nurtured into good human beings and empowered to fend for themselves. She cannot state the exact number of children who have through her home because she has been doing it informally, but she estimates that she has nurtured more than 100 in the 25 years.

Currently, the home has children from as near as Kampala and surrounding areas and as far as Mbale and Masaka. A few are truant adolescents, who have run away from their parents’ homes. In such cases, Jajja Flora takes the trouble to trace their parents and inform them about the whereabouts of their children.

She ensures that children in her custody acquire basic primary or secondary education and then enroll for vocational training to empower them with practical skills such as mechanical work.

40-year-old Herbert Kasule, an electrical engineer, is one of Jajja Flora’s success stories. Kasule, who hails from Masaka but came to Kampala in 1987 to trace his late sister in Makindye in vain, told us last week that Jajja Flora raised him as her own child.

“She is my mother,” said Kasule, adding that despite knowing that his real parents exist, his attachment to Jajja Flora is not comparable because of the love she gave him while growing up in her care.

To remain in constant touch, Kasule established his home in one of Kira’s neighborhoods and checks on Jajja Flora regularly. Born 60 years ago in a small village in Bamusuta, Kyaggwe (present day Mukono district), Nakimbugwe dropped out of school after Primary Seven after her mother Miriam Nambi passed on. This was after her late father, Asaph Kiwanuka, married another woman.

She didn’t find it easy being raised by her step-mother, who she recalls treated her harshly. Nakimbugwe moved on to Kampala to stay with one of her aunties in Makindye where she met her late husband Matthew Byabazaire, a former employee of the East African Development Bank. Byabazaire, who married Nakimbugwe when she was 19 years old, passed on 13 years ago.

The coupled is blessed five children, all adults now. Jajja Flora says her husband was supportive when she started helping homeless children.

“Whenever he returned home he would find new faces but he never complained because he appreciated my love for children,” she recalls of her late husband.

The late Byabazaire bought the land and built the house in Kira where Jajja Flora lives with her children after shifting from their rented home in Makindye. Her late husband advised her to seek alternative income to supplement whatever he was providing so as to sustain their large household.


But Byabazaire’s death didn’t deter Jajja Flora’s zeal to help children. Unemployed, Jajja Flora endured difficult times, but she remained steadfast. To meet some of her children’s most basic needs, she encouraged them to engage in random domestic work such washing clothes, slashing compounds and digging gardens in the neighborhood.

The move paid off as her home was able to put food on the table. Today, Jajja Flora’s home continues to grapple with challenges such as food, medical care, school fees and monthly rent after the house built by her late husband started leaking, forcing her to abandon it and rent another house nearby.

Currently, she rents the three-roomed house at Shs 180,000 per month. However, this money will soon be saved after telecom giants Airtel offered to build a bigger house for the home by the end of this year.

Yet housing is just one of Jajja Flora’s headaches. On a daily basis she needs at least Shs 30,000 to provide decent meals for the children. Fortunately, some well-wishers have stepped in with food items, especially after her story came to light on television.

Jajja Flora is thankful to God that her children rarely fall sick, a fact that explains why medical expenses don’t worry her too much. Her trick is to use herbs regularly as a preventive mechanism that works through boosting the children’s immunity.

For school fees, again some Good Samaritans have stepped in, although she needs more help. On the day we visited, three secondary school students – Asuman Bukenya, Nicholas Kisakye and Jona Mwesige, had stayed home because they lacked school fees.

Fr Tom believes if more people can lend a hand, Jajja Flora’s children would live a more decent life. For any help, Jajja Flora can be reached on 0701 086327. Alternatively, any form of help can be channeled through The Observer.



At midday, thick beads of sweat drip from 11-year-old Lina Lokwangiro’s brow, as she aids her mother organise straw for roofing their newly-constructed hut.

While other school-going children are back for holiday, Lokwangiro recently dropped out of school, during the first term of her P2, early this year. She could nolonger afford to trek the seven-kilometre journey every morning from home to school.

“I [used to] leave home at 7am and reach school at 10am. Sometimes teachers could beat me for late coming,” she says. “Besides, I couldn’t learn anything because as I am recovering from tiredness, the bell rings for us to go back home at 1pm. I could reach home at 4pm. When I felt I was wasting time, I decided to quit school.”

Lina Lokwangiro wishes to become a nurse but has quit school, for now

She now decries the absence of a school in her village, Natopajo parish in Nabilatuk sub-county, Nakapiripirit district. It is the only one without a school or a health facility in the seven parishes that make up Nabilatuk sub-county, whose population is about 2,000 residents.

“If we can get a school in our village, I can go back and study. I also need books and pencils because my mother has no money to buy for me,” says Lokwangiro.

Ironically, this fifth born is the most learned in her family of seven, since no one else has been inside a classroom environment.

“Of all my children, only Lina had braved the journey to Lokaala primary school,” says Madelena Sagal, Lokwangiro’s mother. “She had always talked about becoming a nurse but unless a savior comes for her, that dream might stop here.”

Besides trekking 14 kilometres to and from school daily, she could go without scholastic materials because her parents couldn’t afford books and pencils. Her 70-year-old father, Loese Loruk, says he has tried on several occasions to “beg” on behalf of her daughter in vain.

“I wish the government could help me take care of my daughter so that I can also have an educated child,” he pleads.

Her plight came to light when we met Loruk during a community meeting on service delivery, facilitated by the Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda (Accu) at Nabilatuk sub-county on August 18.

Community leaders were concerned about the shortage of public facilities such as schools and hospitals in the area. Speaking to The Observer, Nabilatuk sub-county chief John Longolio acknowledged that Natopajo parish was deficient in education and health facilities.

“We have done a lot of communication to the district to set up a community school because we believe that it is almost a demand driven; the communities themselves should come up and say ‘there is need for a primary school,” Longolio said. “We have always engaged them that if we need a school, let us try to identify the site of the land.”

He added that he was in the process of contacting district officials to seek support for Early Childhood Development Centres (ECDs), which they hope will transform into a primary school.

Accu Executive Director Cissy Kagaba explained that the aim of their visit was to make the government to account for resources allocated to the Karamoja region.

“It is very unfortunate when you realise that particular areas with in this region do not have schools. The number of teachers is still one of the crosscutting issues,” Kagaba said. “If there are quite a number of minerals in this area, what are those minerals doing to develop this region? How is the government using them to ensure that the issues of service delivery are being addressed in this area?”

Lina Lokwangiro (c) with her parents

She added that since Karamoja is rich in minerals, the government should prioritise the region so as to enhance the people’s livelihood therein. Kagaba also condemns the government for creating more districts instead of emphasizing service provision.

“The government is saying it is bringing services closer to the people. However, if services have not adequately been brought to the people with the many existing districts, how can you then create much more?”

In the meantime, Lokwangiro’s dream of becoming a nurse “to save lives” has stalled until Natopajo gets a school or someone from somewhere else adopts her.


Mr Ochwo has 112 birthday celebrations. He lives

in Tororo Township in the Eastern Province

of Uganda:




                       By Cecilia Okoth 

In the little known village of Katajula, Nagongera
sub-county, Tororo district, lives Pascal Ochwo, arguably
one of Uganda’s oldest men.

Alleged to be 112 years old, Ochwo bubbles with energy not
akin to people his age. On a hot afternoon, I find him in his
compound seated in a reclining wooden chair.
For a man his age, he is neat and kempt – his short grey hair
trimmed and brushed, nails seemingly manicured and his shirt
straight and buttoned to the top. His only weaknesses are his
failing eyesight and hearing.

I amplify my voice to be heard and introduce myself as his
grandchild, news that electrifies him as he quickly grabs my
hand, the tinge of excitement palpable. I greet him and tell
him the purpose of my visit which adds to his pleasure and we
instantly launch into the interview.

When I ask him about his age, he seems baffled. Giggling,
he says: “Do I really remember?” 
His predicament is understandable given that he was born
when birth dates were only associated by events.

However, Plasido Oboth Ochwo, 81, his oldest son, says his
father was born in 1902. That puts him at 112 years old. With
more than a dozen children, Oboth is one of the five still living.
Married to his long-time sweetheart in 1933, Ochwo had 16
children with his late wife Thereza Akongo who passed
away in 1995. Among those still alive are Jennifer Nyaketcho,
80, Dismus Olowo, 64 and Justine Nyadoi, 54.
                              The centenarian has seen it all. Apart from being around to raise his
family, he has seen times change, like the erosion of the African traditional
life by modernity.
He says unlike in the past during his heyday when the youth spent most
of their time farming and retired later in the day to take part in the
famous Tongoli dance, things are not the same anymore. 

The local entertainment scene is polluted with Western vibes. Having
progressed with studies up to seminary level, Ochwo has served as a
catechist, witnessed the construction of the East African Railway by
the Indian coolies, was once engaged in forced labour and taught at
Achilet and Sesera girls’ schools.
Going down memory lane, Ochwo remembers with nostalgia how
railway tax evaders were arrested, beaten up and jailed or killed. 
“It was very frightening,” he says. At a time when the young are dying
before 50, it baffles one to imagine how Ochwo has lived to this age.
Nyaketcho, who has spent a greater part of her time taking care of Ochwo,
seems to know the secret.

“He feeds on kwon kal, (millet bread), matooke, peas, potatoes, cassava,
ground nuts, eggs, meat and wild fruits. 
His favourite flavor in food is ghee,” she says. He also relishes the local
alcoholic brew.

“When he falls sick, we treat him. He prefers tablets to injections,”
Nyaketcho says.
Ochwo reminiscences about how people lived very healthy lives;
malaria was unheard of in the past.
“We would eat burnt leaves and wild fruits famously called gugu. Chicken
pox was common, though death was unheard of. People lived to
be very old,” he says.

Once married and with only one child, Nyaketcho opted to return home
and look after her aging father. His son, Oboth, speaks fondly of his father.
“I was the big-headed one in the family. I was a drunkard and smoker
and this made me wake up late everyday.
But father often pulled me out of bed with a cane to go and graze cattle,”
Oboth, who served as a chief for 16 years. Ochwo spends most of his
time at home.
“I wake up when the sun rises and stay here unless I need to go for a short

He once ventured into smoking cigarettes for the weekend but quit. “I did
not like the after effects that it brought me. Whenever I smoked, I lost
appetite,” he recalls.
His drinking of alcohol was a result of peer pressure.

Having embraced Christianity in 1914, even in his advanced age,
Ochwo religiously goes to church every Sunday.

Even though many things have become better with modern times,
Ochwo believes life in the past was golden.

“Old life was great. There was a lot of food. The only things that
thieves stole were food stuffs and birds,” he says.

By a kind person: Liz Bennett 


Sep 16, 2014


Many people who have succumbed to Ebola have contracted the disease from handling and disposal of the corpses of loved ones. There is much information out there of how to avoid catching Ebola, setting up a sick room etc, but there is little mention of disposal of infected corpses.


In a national crisis expert teams will be dispatched to collect corpses, but if they are overwhelmed the corpse needs to be dealt with before more infection occurs. In a really extreme situation help may not be forthcoming, and that’s what this article is about.


Some may find the following upsetting and rather dispassionate, and for that I’m sorry,

but this article isn’t about feelings and grieving, it’s about staying alive.

Okay, so, a loved one has died of Ebola and you are left with a highly infective corpse.

What do you do? Well, first you need to understand what often  happens at the time of a ‘normal’ death, and what always happens at the time of an Ebola death.

Once death occurs degradation starts almost immediately and for bodies not taken away

and dealt with by undertakers, morticians and coroners visible signs of decay can start in

as little as 15 minutes after death if the conditions are warm and humid.

At the point of death the body starts to cool, within four hours the body will be at or close

to the temperature of its surroundings. During this time the skin will have paled visibly

and will be waxy looking. Postural lividity caused by blood pooling and coagulating in the

lowest part of the body will have occurred so, someone lying face down will be discoloured, looking a purple/dark blue colour on the front of their body.

The muscles that control the bowel and the bladder will have lost their tonicity, they will be relaxed and moving the body will cause both to evacuate. Rigor Mortis, which literally translates as ‘stiffness in death’ will be complete at around the 12 hour point after death.

The only way to change the position of the body once it has set in is to ‘crack’ the rigor,

literally snapping the muscles to alter the position. Rigor will wear off over the next 18-24 hours but by then, if left the internal organs of the body have started to decay. Gases

build up in the gut and intestines and are not passed out of the body as they were in life

and this gives the corpse a swollen and bloated appearance.


These gases cause the putrification of the internal organs, turning them first to

jelly and then to liquid which will escape from the body via the orifices. This foul smelling liquid will exit via the bowels, bladder, mouth,ears, nose and even the



With a death from Ebola this liquidation of the internal organs has already happened and there WILL be considerable expulsion of these liquids from the body. ALL of those fluids

are full of Ebola virus and are highly infective.

If you are nursing someone with Ebola it is a sensible precaution to consider the possibility

of their death and limit the exposure of the rest of the family to the disease. A thick plastic sheet or mattress cover should be on the bed, under the sheets of anyone suffering from a contagious disease and this is even more important with Ebola. The reason for this is


  1.     To protect the bed from infection
  2.     To have a large sheet of plastic in situ already to aid with wrapping the corpse
  3. after death

On top of this plastic put a thin sheet, and then another layer of plastic such as a

decorators sheet and then make up the bed as you normally would.

As I explained above there will be a good deal of infectious bodily fluids expelled at the

point of, or just after death. Leave them where they are, make no attempt to clean the deceased.

Protective gear, which you should have been wearing to nurse the patient anyway should

be reinforced. Put on another pair of gloves, then another coverall, and then a third pair of gloves over the cuffs of the coverall. This is important because it effectively gives you multi layer protection from secretions. Put on overshoes to protect your feet. Rubber boots are

better but the coverall needs to go on after the boots to prevent anything getting inside



Okay, moving on:


 1.    Carefully un-tuck the bedding to the level of the uppermost plastic sheet. Bring it

across the deceased, do not tuck it under them as the risk of a breech in your clothing is

too great.



2.    Do not stretch over them, move to the other side of the bed and throw the bedding

from that side across, then return to the other side of the bed and pull it down snug. using

duct tape fix in place as best you can.



3.    Take a strong garbage bag and gather it up as you would when putting on a pair of

long socks. Slip it over the feet of the deceased and slide it up the corpse, unfurling as you

do so.



4.    Take a second bag and repeat working from the head down.



5.    Duct tape the dags together on the top of the body, do not force you hands and arms underneath.6.    Un-tuck the lower plastic sheet and wrap from the sides first. tape in place.



7.    Repeat the garbage bag procedure but this time when they are securely taped roll the deceased to one side  TOWARDS YOU and tape where you can see at the back. Move to the other side of the bed, roll the deceased TOWARDS YOU and apply more tape. The reason

for doing this is to prevent the deceased falling off the bed which could displace the

wrappings and contaminate both you and the room.



8.    Roll up a light coloured sheet leaving about two feet unrolled and lay it along the length of the deceased. The unrolled portion should hang over the side of the bed.  Move to the other side of the bed and roll the deceased towards you. Tuck the rolled portion of the sheet under the corpse and gently lay the deceased back down.




9.    Go to the other side of the bed, where the sheet is hanging over the edge of the bed and roll the deceased towards you. You will see the rolled sheet in the centre of the bed. Push it away from you, it will unroll over to the other edge of the bed. Lay the deceased back down.




10.You now have a wrapped body lying on a white sheet. Pull the sheet down over the head and tape in place. Repeat with the foot end and then the sides, securing each portion of the sheet in place before moving on. The light coloured sheet will show you if there is any

seepage, a final warning light  for want of a better term.



The body is now ready to be moved. At least two people should do this to avoid

damaging the protective wrapping. Where possible Ebola patients should be nursed

on the ground floor of a home to facilitate easier body removal should the need arise.

Ebola victims may be buried, but burials should be in an isolated area where there is no possibility of any run off caused by rain or flooding damaging the wrapping of the body

and the remains ending up in water courses.  Graves should be very deep to discourage

animal disturbance of the remains which could result in the spread of the disease.

Unless you are in a rural location cremation may be the best option. It’s unlikely that a

body will fully cremate outside of a crematorium so everything possible should be done to ensure complete disposal.

In order to cremate a body you need high heat and good airflow for a considerable

amount of time. To achieve this there will ideally be some kind of platform for the bodies

to rest on with the fire built underneath this, and then combustible material placed on and around the bodies. If a reusable platform can be built all the better. Piles of bricks or

rubble crisscrossed with metal posts or beams, or a metal bed frame would be one way of saving precious fuel, a pyre for multiple bodies is going to take a great deal of it.

Regardless of how you construct your pyre the bodies need to be well off the ground

or they will not combust effectively, there has to be good airflow all around to get

anywhere near complete combustion.


      Open cremation is still practiced in many cultures.


It is far less labour intensive and has the advantage that germs and disease are

destroyed, but as people across the world who have used fire to destroy evidence of

crimes have found, bodies do not burn that well. You may need to add an accelerant

at certain points during the cremation to make sure that nothing survives the fire.

A Dakota fire pit, is much more labour intensive that an open cremation but uses far

less fuel and due to its construction burns much hotter than an open pyre.

Obviously ignore the sizes on the diagram above, that’s just included to show you a

cross-section through the pit.

The pit should be at least a foot bigger than the body all around and there should be

four air vents around it, one each side, one at the head end and one at the foot. Non-combustible materials should be placed at the bottom of the pit and the fire built on

top of this, and the body placed on top of the combustible material used to make the fire.

Whichever method you use stand down wind. The smell of burning flesh is not pleasant

and there can be particulate matter in the air that is harmful. Bodies that are cremated

move and contract, giving them what pathologists call ‘the pugilistic pose’ the legs bend

at the knees and the arms come up, fists clenches as if taking up a boxing stance. This is normal, but is often accompanied by popping sounds as the muscles contract in the heat. Depending on the amount of gases built up in the bodies there is a risk that some may explode, the same with skulls that are exposed to extreme heat.


Typical pugilistic pose and incomplete cremation of a corpse


Your protective gear should remain in place at this point, until you are certain that the

fire is burning well and that you will no longer have to touch the body or its wrappings,

or the body is buried and the soil replaced.

At this point you should wash your gloved hands in a bucket of strong bleach water.

Remove the gloves and drop them into an open garbage bag.


Then again:


1. Before removing the second pair of gloves wash your hands in the

bleached water, unzip the coveralls and step out of it, drop it in the bag

with the first pair of gloves. Remove the overshoes and dispose of them if

you are wearing them.



2.    Wash your hands in the bleach water and remove the second pair of

gloves. They go into the bag.



3.    You should now be wearing a mask with a visor, glasses or safety

goggles and one pair of gloves, and if you opted for them, rubber boots.



4.    If the facemask is tied at the back get someone to cut the tie and

remove the mask from your face in one fluid movement. Hold each side and

pull it away from you, drop it in the bag. Safety goggles and/or glasses can

be dropped into the bucket of bleached water.



5.    Still wearing your last pair of gloves remove your shoes, one at a time

and slip on clean ones.Put the shoes in the garbage. If you are wearing

rubber boots leave them on for a few more minutes.



6.    Wash your gloved hands in the bleached water. Remove the gloves and

put into the bag.



7.    If you are wearing rubber boots getting them off without contaminating yourself can be tricky. One foot at a time stand in the bucket or bowl of

bleach. Each foot should be in there for a few minutes. As you remove your

foot from the bleach put it directly into a rolled down trash bag. Repeat with

the other foot.



8.    Final bit of disrobing now. Leaving the trash bag in situ pull off one boot and put you foot directly into a clean shoe. Repeat with the other foot.



9.    The boots should be left in the bags until you can stand them in

something and using a strong bleach solution saturate them inside and out before leaving them to dry naturally. Many hospitals have rubber boots that

are brightly coloured to mark them as those to be used specifically for

infected cases…I have a bright purple pair tucked away at home so I know

at a glance which boots are which.



10.As soon as possible you should shower, not bathe, take care not to

swallow any of the water that rolls down off your hair and keep your eyes

closed until you have rinsed the shampoo off.



If Ebola does make it out of Africa all precautions need to be taken to prevent it’s spread. Having said that there will be deaths, we all know this. Hopefully the authorities will not be overwhelmed but if they are, the steps outlined above will massively reduce your

chances of contracting the disease from handling a dead body.

Take Care everybody,


Liz Bennett.



Poliisi e Mukono etubidde n'abaana 4 abaabula
Sep 23, 2014 

Bya Henry Nsubuga


Abaana bana balemedde ku poliisi e Mukono oluvannyuma lw'okubula okuva mu b'enganda zaabwe ne balondebwa abazirakisa ne babatwala ku poliisi gye

baludde ebbanga nga tebannafuna ba ng'anda zaabwe.

Akulira poliisi ekola ku nsonga z'amaka n'abaana ku poliisi e Mukono, Jane Amiyat

yagambye nti kuliko Calvin Othieno ow'emyaka 7 ng'agamba nti kitaawe ye James Ojambo akola ogw'okuzimba ng'ono yamuddukako oluvannyuma lw'okumukuba bubi nnyo nga yalondebwa e Ntaawo ng'agamba nti yali anoonya kkubo erigenda ewa maamawe Justine abeera mu Soweto nga yalondebwa March 25.

Omulala ye Dorothy Mutesi ow'emyaka 9 ng'agamba nti nnyina akolera ku Kaleerwe

mu Lufula nga yalondebwa Wantoni nga July 14.

Ate omwana atayogera Pepe yalondebwa nga April 26 ssaako Arafat Sawula 

eyalondeddwa eggulo ku Lwokuna nga September 11 ng'agamba nti yavudde mu Bulo e Ggomba.

Abaana bano be twogeddeko nabo bagenzezzaako okutubuulira ebibakwatako nga bano batutegeezezza nti baagala kudda mu bazadde baabwe ng'okusingira ddala baagala

kutuuka ewa bannyaabwe baddeyo n'okusoma okwayimirira okuva lwe baabula.

Amiyat yategeezezza nti abazadde abalekera abaana baabwe mu b'enganda ssaako abo ababatulugunya be babaviirako okubula.

Yagasseeko nti abamu ku baana be balonda babagamba nti baba bavudde mu babajjajja baabwe nga banoonya bannyaabwe oba bakitaabwe. 






Amagezi gano gavudde mu kukyala kwa Katikkiro Ow'Ekitiibwa Mayiga

mu North America, Boston omwezi guno nga gutandiika.

Embeera ya malwaalliro wano mu Buganda nga bweri embi ennyo ddala era

nga yabulabe eri abalwadde kisuubirwa nga ba na Uganda bangi ddala

abawaddeyo obuyambi(Ggwanga Mujje) okulaba nga emmotoka eno eggulwa, neleetebwa wano mu Buganda sente zebawadde zijja kuyamba bulungi

obulamu bw' abalwadde munsi Buganda ate ne Uganda. 

Omusomi kikuyamba okugenda ku website eya:



   Wano nga nabaana benyigiddemu okusonda sente z'Ettoffalli.


 The World Health Organization has put out in world records that the The Virus named (Zika) is no longer a world public health emergency:

Posted by WHO

19 November, 2016


Brazil, the epicentre of the outbreak, has however refused to downgrade the risk, while experts swiftly lashed out against the world health body's decision.


The tropical mosquito partly responsible to transfer the Zika virus

The World Health Organization on Friday announced that the Zika virus outbreak, linked to deformations in babies' heads and brains, no longer poses a world public health emergency, though it warned the epidemic remains a challenge.

Brazil, the epicentre of the outbreak, has however refused to downgrade the risk, while experts swiftly lashed out against the world health body's decision.

"The Zika virus remains a highly significant and long term problem, but it is not any more a public health emergency of international concern," the world health body's emergency committee chair Dr David Heymann said.

While Zika causes only mild symptoms in most people, pregnant women with the virus risk giving birth to babies with microcephaly -- a deformation that leads to abnormally small brains and heads.

It can also cause rare adult-onset neurological problems such as Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), which can result in paralysis and even death.

In the outbreak that began in mid-2015, more than 1.5 million people have been infected with Zika, mainly in Brazil, and more than 1,600 babies have been born with microcephaly since last year, according to the WHO.

The UN's global health agency declared the Zika epidemic a global health emergency in February 2016.

Researchers earlier this year warned that at least 2.6 billion people, over a third of the global population, live in parts of Africa, Asia and the Pacific where Zika could gain a new foothold, with 1.2 billion at risk in India alone.

Brazil on Friday said it would continue to treat the outbreak as an emergency.

"We will maintain the emergency (status) in Brazil until we are completely tranquil about the situation," Health Minister Ricardo Barros told journalists.

In most cases worldwide, people have been infected with the virus by mosquitoes, though some have contracted the disease through sexual contact.

'A lot of unknowns'

The WHO was careful on Friday not to dismiss the risk still posed by the virus, which has been detected in 73 countries worldwide, mainly in Latin America and the Caribbean.

"We are not downgrading the importance of Zika, in fact by placing this as a longer term of programme of work, we're sending the message that Zika is here to stay and WHO's response is here to stay in a very robust manner," said Dr Peter Salama, director of the agency's health emergencies programme.

There are still, he added, "a lot of unknowns" in the battle against Zika.

The WHO believes the "Zika virus and associated consequences remain a significant enduring public health challenge requiring intense action but no longer represent" a global health emergency, it said in a statement.

"Many aspects of this disease and associated consequences still remain to be understood, but this can best be done through sustained research," it added.

The emergency committee's head Heymann said Brazil's decision to continue dealing with the epidemic as an emergency was "appropriate", even as he affirmed the virus need not be dealt with as an emergency of international concern.

'Quite worrying'

Georgetown University global health and law expert Lawrence Gostin described the WHO decision as "quite worrying", particularly since the southern hemisphere will soon enter the high-risk summer season for mosquitoes.

"I think the international response to Zika has been lethargic, and with WHO's action to call off the global emergency, it has provided reason for governments and donors to pull back even more," Gostin said.

"That is a recipe for the very lack of preparedness the world has seen time and again with infectious diseases."

Meanwhile, in Florida, the only US state so far to have documented local transmission of Zika, cases continued to mount.

"Florida maintains an active public health emergency declaration in 38 counties," said the state's department of health spokeswoman Mara Gambineri.

The Zika outbreak sparked fears of infection amongst travellers and athletes taking part in this summer's Olympic Games in Brazil.

The WHO later knocked down those concerns, saying that no cases had been detected among spectators or athletes.

Two anti-Zika vaccines are currently being tested, according to the WHO. At the moment, there is no cure for Zika.