‘Withdrawing National Health Insurance Bill In Wake Of COVID-19 Is Step In Wrong Direction’-Dr Aruho EPHWOR’s medical and reproductive health consultant

In the wake of COVID-19, the Gov’t of Uganda through the State Minister of Health, intimated to Parliament it’s intention to withdraw the National Health Insurance bill, our Medical legal and reproductive health consultant who interfaced with the Health committee of parliament on the medical_ Legal issues of the bill in this write up/Opinion to gov’t explains why we need the health insurance scheme more so amidst and after COVID-19 more than before.

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Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) of Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) in the Wake of COVID-19 Pandemic Report

Sexuality is part of being human and having sex in all settings may not be controlled during lockdowns. Availability and access to sexual reproductive health and rights services is critical, even if it may not be seen to be essential in in the wake of COVID-19 (Fatia Kiyange). As a global pandemic many countries including Uganda have taken rush measures like lockdowns both partial and total. Governments are concentrating on fighting of COVID-19 at the expense of many other services and other compelling situations especially the Sexual reproductive health and rights. Analyzing and understanding the situation surrounding the access to Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) is a starting point to ensuring that individual rights especially those of marginalized groups (Adolescent Girls And Young Women(AGYW)) are not stepped on. COVID-19 has far highlighted the gender inequalities and undermined the access to SRHR in Uganda especially for the young women and girls. Following the presidential guidelines EPHWOR organized online conversation on Twitter to discuss the current situation in regards to SRHR of AGYW in the wake of covid-19 to bring forth recommendations to increase the access to SRHR……To continue reading the report download the document below

The Medical Legal Issues Surrounding COVID-19 Pandemic in Uganda

COVID-19 is the short form of Corona Virus Disease of 2019 that was first diagnosed in the Chinese town Wuhan in December 2019. The virus has since spread worldwide as of now with 349,095 cases registered worldwide that is 233,461 people infected and battling  the virus, 15,296 deaths and 100,330 people that have recovered from the virus. The number increases day by day.

 On the 11th day of March 2020, WHO declared that an outbreak of the viral disease COVID-19 had reached the level of a global pandemic and called on all governments to take urgent and aggressive actions to stop the spread of the virus.

Uganda has so far tested and confirmed nine Ugandans to have the virus, quite over 2000 Ugandans are in mandatory institutional quarantine and over 100 are in monitored self-isolation. To read the full article download the document below

Public Statement on the COVID-19 Pandemic

public statement

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Why Some Perpetrators of rape and Defilement still getting away with the law

After the 16 days of activism against gender based violence that ended on the 10th of December 2019, one would think acts or offences related to gender based violence would take a break because of the country wide activism, advocacy and enforcement against gender based violence. However my mind has been drawn to the recurrent incidents of rape and defilement that are happening in the country.

Rape is ubiquitous and takes place at work places in churches, in cars, marital homes, hospitals to mention but a few, While defilement takes place at schools ,homes and it is common with the guardian entrusted with the young girl that betrays the trust. To read full article download the file below:

National Drug Authority has a Duty to Ensure Only Safe and Quality Drugs are Made Available to Ugandans

The National Drug Authority on the 30th October 2019 issued a public statement recalling two batches of life guard condoms that is batch nos.190402205 and 19050105, these condoms had been rolled or made available to Ugandans by Marie Stoppes without being tested by NDA in their laboratories for any possible defect. During an interview by the press with the outgoing state minister of health Hon Sarah Opendi, she warned that there could be serious health implications for the end users of these untested condoms. She further said the risk of catching sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS is high and appealed to Ugandans who could have used life guard condoms during the period of April to October to go and get tested. This has caused a lot of psychological torture and mental anguish among many Ugandans considering that life guard condoms are choice of many because they are price friendly. To continue reading you can follow this link; or you can download the article file attached below:

Pass the Patients’ Rights and Responsibility Bill into law to account, check and balance the proposed National Health Insurance Scheme

My attention has been drawn to the fact that however much the National health insurance bill is highly supported by government and a certificate of financial implication has already been issued by the Ministry of Finance. The Patients’ Rights and Responsibility Bill is not in the good books of government and this premised on the vehement resistance it received from government by the Minister of State for Health Hon Sarah Opendi when it was presented on the floor of Parliament by the Hon Saleh Kamba. The Minister of Health Hon Ruth Aceng has also retaliated the same that the proposed Patients bill is not required because it does not address Health Workers’ rights and will worsen the situation of Health care in Uganda.


EPHWOR introduces her photo essay, showing the different activities carried out in photos and field visits.

Patients rights and responsibility bill

Through progressive negotiations and advocacy with Parliament, CSOs and the Government of Uganda by the Patients Rights Voice Coalition (PVC) of which EPHWOR is a member. The patients and responsibilities bill was gazetted and passed the first reading in parliament, it has now been sent to the health committee for scrutiny. We are grateful to our partners in the struggle for the voiceless patients and we also thank parliament of Uganda for the good step in the right direction.
Read one of the newspaper articles written by EPHWOR lawyer  https://

EPHWOR has done a great deal in popularizing of the patients charter which was passed in 2009. EPHWOR with partners are advocating for the passing of the patients’ rights and responsibility bill that is before parliament. Read one of the news paper articles written by EPHWOR lawyer –

Once this Bill is passed into law it will ensure that patients who go to both private and government health facilities are attended to and any sort of negligence by both health facilities and health workers is avoided.

This bill passed into law will further easier the work of the various councils regulating medical practioners that is the medical and dental practitioners council, Allied Health Professional Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Council and if the government heeds to the pressure of Uganda Medical Association to disband the health monitoring unit of State House then this law will be the appropriate remedy to check and control the work of government health workers as they conduct their duties. Read the whole story here>> More about the same can be read here >>–Rights-Bill-now/689844-2668716-qhj0cxz/index.html

Implications of falsified Hepatitis B Vaccine

EPHWOR engaged the government on the medical – legal implications of falsified Hepatitis B Vaccine in the country. Some time in March,Ugandans were disturbed by the adverse side effects that would arise as a result of the falsified Hepatitis B vaccine that was being administered in many health facillities. Enforcement of Patients and Health Workers’ Rights(EPHWOR) petitioned NDA and ministry of health of the medical legal implication and violation of patients rights and this led to the vaccine being tested in the best labs and the vaccine was found to be of no adverse effects.

Dr.Aruho Amon, EPHWOR lawyer’s article on falsified Hepatitis B drugs which was published in Red Pepper.

EPHWOR has developed a module called “Medical law and Ethics” that can be used to appreciate the concept of medical law. EPHWOR lawyers and doctors have written a module about women patients’ Rights to be included in the curriculum of medical schools to educate health workers about women health rights. The concept of SRHR is not included in the health workers’ curriculum as a component of primary health care. It also lacks in continuing medical education in Uganda. The module has topics that can train doctors, nurses and mid wives about the laws and policies in Uganda and international documents and instruments that relate to sexual and reproductive health.

Kiconco Faridah case

EPHWOR media and Advocacy have voiced up Many voiceless patients whose rights are violated. Many of them are calling our phones and others visiting EPHWOR office to get help. Health workers elsewhere in Uganda are increasingly getting aware of EPHWOR’s enforcement of Patients’ rights and are now handling patients better fearing to be reported to authorities

The Kiconco Story

One of the controversial stories of 2019, was the story of Kiconco Faridah, a lady that was wrongly diagnosed with HIV and had taken ARVs for six years. EPHWOR in conjunction with KASASA & CO advocates took up the matter and sued Sheema Municipality and Kabwohe Health Center IV on behalf of Faridah, to help her gain justice under the case of Medical Negligence by the health workers. Follow the link below to read full story