I triumphed over HIV stigma, I now stand tall – Miss Y+

FRANCIS EMUKULE At 11 years, Gloria Nawanyaga, a third-year student of Uganda Christian University (UCU) learnt the hard truth that she was HIV positive. However, despite the stigma that soon followed her new discovery, Nawanyaga never gave up on life. Today, she is Miss Y+ (Young Positives), a position that has enabled her restore hope among hundreds of young people living with HIV. She is also an ambassador with Uganda Network of Young People Living with HIV. This is her story At 11 years, Nawanyaga, 18 became so curious at…

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Tanzania’s accident awake-up call

  Tanzania and the entire East African region is mourning the enormous loss of human lives when a ferry on Lake Victoria capsized killing most of those on board.  MV Nyerere was carrying 400 people, 300 more in excess of its capacity of 100 people at the time of the accident. Preliminary reports indicate that the accident was caused by overloading the ferry beyond its capacity. This is what happens every day in Uganda, whether on water or road transport. A year ago, I made a trip to Kalangala aboard MV…

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Alumni fundraises for a students activity centre

BY DOUGLAS OLUM The Uganda Christian University Alumni Relations Office and the Alumni Association are organising a fund-raising event to help construct a Students Activity Centre within the university. The event dubed, “UCU Alumni Meet,” is targeted at bringing together all graduates of UCU on Thursday October 25. It will be held at the Archbishop’s Palace in Namirembe between 6:00 to 8:30 and hosted by the Archbishop, Stanley Ntagali, who is both Chancellor and UCU alumnus, under the theme, “Building UCU.” Patrobas Wafula, the speaker of the Alumni Association, said…

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Student in jail over rape of first-year girl

BY DOUGLAS OLUM A Uganda Christian University second-year student of Business Information Technology has been arrested on allegation of raping a first-year student. Ignatius Nimusiima, 22 allegedly took the first-year girl to his hostel under the guise of escorting her to her hostel through the dark after the Freshers Ball on the night of Friday September 28. In her statement recorded at the UCU Police Station, the girl whose identity we are not disclosing for protection purposes, said she was frightened to walk alone back to her hostel which is…

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Christians urged to support university

BY FRANCIS EMUKULE,  DOUGLAS OLUM & LHWANZU  KITOOKE “Some people are so poor that the only thing they have is their  money. Because they don’t give, they are devoid of God’s grace and abundance.” These were the words of Reverend Alex Bwambale during the UCU Sunday  service  at All Saints Cathedral Nakasero on September 30. UCU Sunday was  gazetted by the Anglican Church House of Bishops in 2017 as a day when all Anglican Christians gather to pray for and contribute financially to support the university. The 2018 UCU Sunday was…

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Students quit Internet over tax

BY FRANCIS EMUKULE The Over The Top (OTT) tax introduced by the Government this financial year has left a big number of students disconnected from the Internet.  Activists, students and scholars attending a recent debate organised by the European Union (EU) delegation in Uganda on Media for Democracy at Uganda Christian University, expressed concern over the new tax and its implications to the youth.  Andrew Gole, one of the panellists noted that, 30 percent of the young people were cut off social media following the introduction of the Shs200 daily…

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Guild organises 2018/19 elections

BY DOUGLAS OLUM Students at Uganda Christian University are warming up for the guild elections for this academic year. The guild Electoral Commission Secretary for Publicity, Morris Twinamatsiko, disclosed this during the freshers ball held at the basketball courts on Friday, September 28, saying that the process would start in October. The upcoming elections will see students choose a new Guild President and Members of Parliament for the faculties of Science and Technology, Business, Law, Journalism, Media and Communication. They will also elect representatives for the School of Medicine, Social…

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Chinese university in talks with UCU

BY DOUGLAS OLUM A Chinese university in the capital Beijing is seeking to partner with Uganda Christian University (UCU) in research, technological incubation and capacity development. Officials from Tsinghua University led by Uganda’s Deputy Ambassador to China, Henry Mayega, approached UCU administrators on Monday October 1 to ask for the partnership. In a meeting held in the Principal’s Hall at UCU main campus in Mukono, and attended by the Vice-Chancellor, Dr John Senyonyi, his two deputies and the deans of faculties, he asked Tsinghua to avail UCU with their draft…

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University staff arrested, charged over food theft

Some of the stolen chicken

BY DOUGLAS OLUM At least three members of staff of Uganda Christian University (UCU) have been arrested and charged with theft. The trio, who are casual labourers at the dining hall, are: Emmanuel Mwesigwa (cook), Juma Kyaterekera (netball coach and former kitchen staff) and Joseph Banamwita (kitchen mini-store keeper). According to security sources, Mwesigwa, Kyaterekera and Mathias Emillo were found in illegal possession of a 50-kilo bag of rice, a 20-litre jerrycan of cooking oil and 12 dressed chicken. The items are suspected to have been stolen from the kitchen…

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School of Medicine tasked with ethics

As Uganda Christian University (UCU) launched its new School of Medicine recently, it has been tasked to produce doctors with ethics and integrity. The Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, made this call during the School launch on Friday September 14 at the Archbishop’s Gardens in Namirembe. Rugunda revealed that many universities were graduating medical doctors every year, but that the questions of ethics and integrity remain a big challenge. “In spite of the huge number of medical doctors we are already producing, Uganda is still greatly underserved in terms of medical doctors and not just in terms of numbers. We need professionals with integrity and ethics. We hope the doctors who will come from this institution will be those with a high level of professionalism, integrity and ethics,” Rugunda said. He added, “We hope they will be professionals who put patients first. We hope the doctors will not only excel in service delivery but also research.” The Premier’s advice comes at the backdrop of the University Council’s resolution adopting professionalism and character as the institution’s niche. Professionalism in this case entails appearance, demeanour and mindset. Rugunda also noted that while Uganda was making good progress in the health sector, there was a huge challenge of non-communicable diseases among Ugandans. He, therefore, urged the public to observe strict health practices like washing hands after visiting the toilets to prevent diseases. Speaking at the same event, the Minister of Health, Dr Ruth Aceng, echoed the call for ethics and professionalism among the students, saying there is a huge problem of attitude among Ugandan medical workers. Dr Aceng said while many medical doctors are already being produced at the first degree level by universities across the country, the UCU School of Medicine should not only focus on educating doctors at the Bachelor’s degree level but also on having more specialists in the various areas of specialty. Her call follows a recent revelation by the State Minister of Health in charge of General Duties, Sarah Opendi, who told legislators during a plenary sitting that Government was struggling to attract and retain specialists in various disciplines because of the meagre pay offered to them. While addressing journalists prior to the event, the UCU Vice Chancellor, Dr John Senyonyi, said Ugandans were not receiving enough medical attention due to the scarcity of doctors. He said the establishment of the School of Medicine was a partial search to address the problem. Dr Senyonyi also said the School hopes to venture into locally based research in the near future to counter the continuous reliance of Ugandan medical practitioners on imported health care guidelines as a way of improving health care in the country. Asked whether the School of Medicine was ready to meet the great public expectations, Dr Edward Kanyesigye, the pioneer Dean of the School, told The Standard that they are equal to the task. “We are very prepared. We selected very qualified students; we have very qualified staff both in the academia and medical practice. I think our biggest strength is on the staffing. We have up to 17 consultants as part-timers already seeing our students twice in a week, something other universities only begin to do when their students are already in third-year,” Dr Kanyesigye said. Furthermore, he emphasized that the school stands a higher chance of producing the desired quality of graduates because “God is on our side.” Background of the School The UCU School of Medicine is an extension of the former Faculty of Health Sciences. It was founded in collaboration with Mengo Hospital which is the teaching hospital and accredited by the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) in March this year. A total of 62 pioneer students have been enrolled to study the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, and the Bachelor of Dental Surgery, respectively. Mengo Hospital Medical Director, Dr Rose Mutumba, said they are proud to offer the training site for the School. She said the Hospital was ready to employ its 122 years of experience in health service delivery to train the doctors. Dr Mutumba asked the students to learn ethics, professionalism and character which are very essential in the medical profession and practice. She also urged them to respect the nurses at the facility because they have valuable experience which is very resourceful to the learners. In his speech, the UCU Chancellor and Anglican Archbishop of Uganda, Stanley Ntagali, said the extended footprint of the university in educating students call for greater outreach. Ntagali said the establishment of the School of Medicine is a partial fulfilment of the desire to inch further into the world. He also said because most people come into the world and depart in the hands of health workers, good training of medical personnel is an essential part of Christian institutions like UCU.

By Douglas Olum As Uganda Christian University (UCU) launched its new School of Medicine recently, it has been tasked to produce doctors with ethics and integrity. The Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda,  made this call during the School launch onFriday September 14 at the Archbishop’s Gardens in Namirembe. Rugunda revealed that many universities were graduating medical doctors every year, but that the questions of ethics and integrity remain a big challenge. “In spite of the huge number of medical doctors we are already producing, Uganda is still greatly underserved in terms of…

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