Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Primary school girls and the challenges of menstrual periods in Kaliro district

As the primary leaving   examinations draw to a close, all is not well at various schools in Kaliro district following the increasing school dropout rates in the district due to failure to manage menstrual hygiene challenges. District data shows that 87% of girls are failing to finish their studies. Statistics from last year�s examination finals show that of the 170 pupils who missed exams, 108 of these were girls.

InDirect Infants School in Gadumire sub county Kaliro district, the girls mostlythose in puberty are often isolated in small groups away from the boys, buthappy to keep to themselves. During my interactions, they struggle to last along smile. Only laugh faintly
To some of them, puberty stage has become a night mare. The menstrual periods are individually unmanageable, yet shameful at school. Soiling their uniforms with blood stains leaves the boys in buckets of laughter.

The red days have bred untold stigma at school, and unbearable to sustain school practice, many have   chosen to abscond from school. Some brave are turn, but the faint hearted go for good. With the poverty levels biting deep,many of these don�t have essentials to use during this time.

The school director of direct infant�s primary school Patrick Daire says the situation is beyond what the institution can contain. Even the senior woman teacher cannot salvage it either. From the start of this term, the school has lost four pupils after they stained their clothes while in class and failed to return to school due to the shame.

The repercussion of these dropout rates is also felt at the district level.  Kamaga Edward, the district inspector of schools in Kaliro says, even the number of female teachers enrolled in the education profession is worrying. Out of the 1000 teachers in the district only 354 are women.

Kamaga notes that after these girls drop out of school, Marriage proposals flood in,in less than 3 months, these young  girls have become wives.

Hope Nakalema is a senior woman teacher at Mpambwa orphans care, another school in Gadumire Sub County; she is overwhelmed by the numbers that come for her rescue.  All she can do is allow girls in their periods to go home and return after. The few girls, who maneuver through the situation,have only been helped by partnering NGO �S and donors.
The ministry of education and sports, ministry of health is set to partner with service providers to avail reusable pads to these children.

By Thembo Joshua

Monday, 3 November 2014


Extract from http://www.nbs.ug/details.php?option=acat&a=4156#.VFiBiSKUfm5

Investment in a child�s initial stages of development is a long term venture into human capital and a formidable source of labor for the future generations. Given Uganda�s high poverty levels, child brain development is usually affected by their experiences in circumstances of extreme poverty,chronic hunger, neglect, repeated abuse and lack.

Such experiences leave the children prone to various retardation challenges that affect their performance at a later stage when they are supposed to contribute to national development.
The government has embarked on various interventions to foster child growth mainly focusing on ensuring health pregnancies, proper nutrition, immunization and growth monitoring.

However the minister of finance hon. Maria Kiwanuka says health child development should be everyone�s concern because government efforts alone are not enough.
The Executive Director PSFU Gideon Badagawa says despite several efforts to support social transformation through corporate social re responsibilities,there is still more that needs to be done to influence future development.

Private sector foundation has partnered with Bernard Van Leer Foundation in a child care project rolled out in the three districts of Apac, Nakapiripiti,Kumi to improve child well fare. 

By Thembo Joshua

Keep An Orphane In school

Provide 225 girls with sustainable menstrual kits that provide effective sanitary hygiene

Eight years ago, orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in a slum community in Lubowa, Kampala, and Gadumire a rural sub-county in Kaliro district had a chance to be enrolled in primary school. Through THETA, 1094 children are currently supported by SIDECOLE a Geneva based charity. 225 girls have reached of age when they experience menstruation.
According to a mini-survey conducted by THETA in July 2014, 87.6% of these girls do not have the ability to pay for their menstrual sanitary pads and thus miss classes during the days.  They also keep way from the public when they have a flow to avoid embarrassment. According to Afripads girls miss up to 20% of a school year due to menstruation. By the end of primary school, this can equate to a whole year of school missed.
Their hygiene practices during this period was rated as poor. This predisposes these young adolescent girls to diseases such as urinary tract infections; and affects their social and emotional well-being

Our solution
In order to keep the 225 girls in school, we propose that we provide the girls with sustainable menstrual kits that provide effective, comfortable sanitary hygiene that are environment-friendly and could be used for up to 12 menstrual cycles. We shall partner with Afripads which apparently produces these Kits in Uganda.
We shall also provide training of school teachers in the proper use of the menstrual kits; and health education on hygiene practices during menstruation. These will later teach the students.

What We Need & What You Get
This intervention requires:
-  Purchase of 225 kits menstrual kits at  15,500Ugx each totaling to 3,487,500Ugx $ 1395
-  Transport charges to distribute the pads to the 4 schools totaling to 750,000Ugx - $ 300
-  TOT Training for 4 THETA staff costing 1,291,800Ugx - $ 516
-  Two days training the school teachers on menstrual management and use of the kits 3,756,400Ugx - $ 1502
-  Other administration costs (Staff stipend) 50,000Ugx - $ 20

What we already have
-  TOT training for 5 staff costing 1,291,800Ugx - $ 516
-  Technical persons to oversee program implementation
Our funding gap
-  8043900Ugx - $ 3217

The Impact
This simple intervention will:
-  Enable the girl-child enjoy their right to education, health; and safe and clean environment
-  Enable 225 girls to complete primary education 

Other Ways You Can Help
How to donate
Cash, Cheque, EFT transfers and deposits can be made to:
A/C No: 0341419824
Barclays Bank Uganda
Kampala road Branch

Mobile Money transfers can also sent to:
Airtel/Warid: 0757235777
MTN: 0783650100
Please indicate reason for sending as “PADS”

You can also deliver cash to THETA Finance offices on address below;
Plot 724/725 Mawanda Road Kamwokya Kampala
P.o. box 21175 Kampala Uganda
If in Kampala, and you are unable to use any of the above donation strategies please feel free to call THETA office on +256414532930

What you could also do for us
Please help us spread the word in reaching this goal: post, like, share, e-mail, send, tweet,

How to reach us
Contact Person
Program Asistant  - THETA Uganda
Plot 724/725 Mawanda Road Kamwokya
P.o. box 21175 Kampala Uganda


Friday, 17 October 2014


Did you know that 16 mothers in Uganda die daily during delivery - What are you doing to help them?

THETA Uganda joined the rest of country today to celebrate the Safe Motherhood day - . The theme for this year was "PREVENT TEENAGE PREGNANCY; ENGAGING MEN TO PROMOTE BEHAVIOUR CHANGE"

The Press statement made by Voice for Health Rights (VHR) called upon Honorable members of Parliament, local leaders, Buganda government, Village health teams, NGO'S and Private sector to commit to addressing needs of young people especially girls. There is need for strengthening support and protection for sexual exploitation and violence, access to friendly Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) information and service networks; key programs targeting young people especially girls to gain skills and to be able to withstand pressure and ensure access to affordable Sexual Reproductive Health & Rights services.

 By Thembo Joshua
km Team THETA Ug



Thursday, 28 August 2014


Florence Nakachwa  - Head of Herbal Medicine at NDA- making a presentation 

 “We don’t regulate practice BUT we regulate product” Florence Nakachwa – National Drug Authority (NDA)
Day two is on – this time we had the first session open with remarks from NDA about “HERBAL MEDICINE IN UGANDA AND REGISTRATION”

In her remarks , Florence N informed participants that NDA is doing a lot to Regulate advertising and registration of Traditional medicines, certifying products, inspecting of manufacturing places among others.

The conference is still running until Friday 29th/Aug/2014 – 

By: Thembo Joshua - THETA Uganda - KM Team

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

2nd Annual Traditional Medicine Conference Opens in high Gear

The long awaited 2nd Annual traditional Medicine Conference was finally declared open at Hotel Africana on 27th /8th /2014 in Kampala where it is being hosted.
In his opening remarks, the representative of the Minister of Health – Dr Opio Alex thanked THETA and National Chemotherapeutics Institute (NCRI) for organizing the conference that has attracted researchers, Health institutions, learning institutions, traditional and modern health practitioners. He  informed the members present that the Ministry of Health in partnership with THETA and NCRI have already tabled a bill before parliament on Indigenous and complementary Medicine which if passed will regulate Traditional Medicine(TM) use and practices in Uganda.
Dr Opio further communicated that in Uganda TM is widely accepted and used. “In our rural areas , most of the people use this health care – it has been transferred from one generation to another and has a vast cultural route” Commissioner at Ministry of Health.

The conference that is running till Friday 29th /Aug/2014 shall be held as Annually.
A researcher presenting his abstract

By Thembo Joshua - THETA Uganda -KM Team

Friday, 1 August 2014


During the week of 21st – 25th July 2014 , THETA hosted the OVC project funders. As opposed to other Donor visits, this time round the Geneva based Charity organization - SIDECOLE sent a team of four to visit the work being done in Uganda. The charity Organization is supporting 1094 Orphans and vulnerable Children in Kampala and Kaliro districts through THETA Uganda.

The funders visit to the beneficiary schools in Kaliro left smiles of Joy and hope to the Orphans and school directors just like anyone would feel when they are visited by their parents.  We conducted a walk around the schools supervising the work and achievements made in 2013 and early 2014. The many developments and changes at the schools left the funders astonished “ahhh you installed tip taps for the children to wash their hands after visiting the latrines – this is a good initiative. Well done “OVC Funder.  

SIDECOLE and THETA team looking at tip tap
In 2013, the charity group supported the schools through provision of water harvest systems, construction of pit latrines, roofing of a class room block, instructional materials, installing play stations, child to child clubs support, Integrated Practical skills and supply of food materials. This support has continuously increased the enrollment and retention levels of school going pupils. 

During this visit however it was noted that adolescent girls were absconding school due to menstrual challenges. The girls are from poor families which can hardly afford buying of sanitary pads.
.THETA, SIDECOLE and other partners continue to source for support for the most vulnerable persons in areas of Education and Health. 

African Solutions for African Challenges

Program Asistant