Ugandan university sparks controversy with mandatory pregnancy tests for students

for Tv47 Digital November 11, 2022, 05:06 AM
Kampala International University pregnancy tests
The notice dated November 8 has since been withdrawn. According to the Ministry of Health, 25 per cent of Ugandan teenagers become pregnant by the age of 19. PHOTOS/COURTESY

In Summary

  • The students were required to pay 5,000UGX (KSh160) for the pregnancy tests. 
  • The university hastily withdrew the directive following the barrage of criticism. 

Uganda’s Kampala International University recently attracted a barrage of criticism after asking female students to take pregnancy tests or be banned from writing exams.

“This is to inform all nurses and midwives that you are supposed to go to KIU-TH for a pregnancy test at a fee of 5,000 UGX paid to hospital accounts office. Failure to do so you will not sit for UNMEB exams, thank you,” said the notice from the Office of the Dean, School of Nursing Sciences, dated November 8.

As expected, the notice set the Twittersphere abuzz. Catherine Kyobutungi, executive director, African Population and Health Research Center, described the notice as “total hogwash, discriminatory and unacceptable.”

“Someone please help me here!” she added.

Kyobutungi is quoted by the BBC as saying she had threatened to sue the university over the notice.

UNAids executive director Winnie Byanyima described the directive as “totally unacceptable and just ridiculous!”

“This discriminatory directive should be withdrawn immediately. Shame!” she added.

Following the uproar, the university hastily withdrew the directive.

“This is to inform you that the internal memo on pregnancy and pregnancy testing dated November 8th has been rescinded (withdrawn). We wish you all the best in the forthcoming exams,” said the updated notice by Prof. Frank Kaharuza, Deputy Vice Chancellor.

Uganda has a teenage pregnancy problem. According to the Ministry of Health, 25 per cent of Ugandan teenagers become pregnant by the age of 19. 

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