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Submission of the the Students and Youth concerns in the Public Health Amendment Bill, 2021

March 9, 2022

Parliament’s Committee on Health has started the consideration of the Public Health (Amendment) Bill, 2021 that among other things seeks to ensure mandatory  vaccination. Appearing before the committee on Wednesday, 21 February 2022, the health minister,  According to the proposal, those who do not get vaccinated  will be fined Shs4 million or a jail term of six months.

Simon Ssenyonga, one of the directors of the NCSA introduced the team to the panel and started off with his presentation. He emphasized that the youth are the largest demographic both in  Uganda and in Africa, and that this bill directly and indirectly affect them.

He stressed the main concerns of the youth in the bill which are
I)Education
2) The youths right to privacy and informed consent
3) The government’s need to inspire the building of public confidence among the Ugandan youths
4) Provisions of alternative medicines and cultural practices
5) Adopting of a human based approach by specifically providing for  religious exemptions.

Simon further added that the current legislation process isn’t very vigorous and He recommended that there should be harmony that is created around some factors such as religious exemptions would be a great tool and sanity of places of worship.

Freedom of religion is a place where you practice it from and in times of emergency, religious tolerance in times of the epidemics, motivate and empower the religious constitutions, religious constitutions to advance the cause and secure the interests of the people.

He admonished the chairman and his committee not to look at our concerns as just a religious issue because most of the mind of the politicians looks at religion and culture as problematic. He stressed that religion inclusion in policy making is very key in restoring public confidence and that the bill should provide room for religious exemptions of the youth.

Simon then Introduced the NCSA representatives to make their cases and concerns to the Parliamentary Committee about the Proposed Public Health Amendment Bill 2021.

Watch the full video here: https://fb.watch/bFC3v12ZTs/

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