THETA Uganda

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THETA

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.

Strengthening Of Community Systems to Eliminate Loss to Follow Up In EMTCT In Oyam District In Uganda

THETA Uganda with funding from ViiV Health care through Positive Action Children Fund (PACF) is implementing a three (3) year community eMTCT project (2016 – 2018), titled “Strengthening of community systems to eliminate loss to follow up in EMTCT”. The project seeks to strengthen linkages between communities and health facilities to address loss to follow up of HIV positive and lactating women across the EMTCT continuum care. The goal ofthe project is to reduce the rate of loss to follow up to HIV prevention and lactating women across the eMTCT cascade by 98% in Oyam district through a sustainable family support system by 2018.

The project objectives are to:

  • – Increase the knowledge of EMTCT and EID at family level to 95% among 920 villages in Oyam by 2018.
  • – Establish and develop a psychosocial support network of family groups that reaches 100% of HIV positive pregnant and lactating women in Oyam district.
  • – Establish a community led referred and follow up system that reaches 100% HIV+ pregnant/lactating women for eMTCT services by 2018. This project focuses on community interventions addressing loss to follow-up in eMTCT and Early Infant Diagnosis.

The project is implemented through the following strategies:

  • – Family focused EMTCT education
  • – Peer led Family support groups
  • – Economic Empowerment for families of PLHIV
  • – Harnessing traditional and cultural systems to support EMTCT
  • – Strengthening community health facility linkages

The project aims at achieving the following results:

  • – Increased number of people and families’ knowledge about EMTCT and EID
  • – Increased capacity of community structures to conduct EMTCT EDUCATION
  • – Increased access to psychosocial support by HIV positive women
  • – Increased of families to save money and invest in the community
  • – Increased access to EMTCT service

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