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African Solutions for Better Health

THETA starts Digitalising 1990s Ethnobotanical and Traditional Healers Surveys

There is limited documentation of indigenous knowledge in Africa, Uganda inclusive posing a major risk to its sustainable preservation. In efforts to address partly the above challenge, the Ministry of Health, under the ‘Ethnomedicine in Uganda’ project, conducted Ethnobotanical and Traditional Healers Surveys (1990-1995) the first of its kind in Uganda, covering 23 districts.

The survey documented a rich baseline information on traditional medicine in Uganda that is critical for research, training and capacity Development for Traditional Medicine sub sector in Uganda. However the key challenges with the above survey are: 1) The available reports are in hard copies which is an unsustainable method of keeping this type of knowledge 2) Access is difficult.

In partnership with PHARMBIOTRAC – Mbarara University of Science and Technology, THETA has embarked on digitalization and centralization of the ethnobotanical surveys to enhance preservation and wider access for traditional medicine research.

Download Sample Survey attached below:

More are available in the THETA resource center

THETA to Train Youth and Women in Medicinal Plant Cultivation and Product Development

The private sector foundation Uganda, under the Skills Development Facility (SGF), has awarded THETA Uganda a Grant to undertake training of 50 Women and Youth in Rwenzori Region.
The training, slated for September – December 2020, will focus on commercial cultivation of high value medicinal plans, herbal products and business enterprise development.

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 KM THETA Team

THETA Joins Uganda to Celebrate – Safe Motherhood Day

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.