"This year’s World Population Day falls during a milestone year, when we anticipate the birth of the Earth’s seven billionth inhabitant. This is an opportunity to celebrate our common humanity and our diversity. It is also a reminder of our shared responsibility to care for each other and our planet."
Secretary-General’s Message for 2011
This year’s World Population Day falls during a milestone year, when we anticipate the birth of the earth’s seven billionth inhabitant. This is an opportunity to celebrate our common humanity and our diversity. It is also a reminder of our shared responsibility to care for each other and our planet.
Reaching a global population of seven billion is a numerical landmark, but our focus should always be on people. That is why I am pleased that the United Nations Population Fund is giving meaning to the number by launching its campaign for “7 Billion Actions” to contribute to a better world.
More than ever, individuals can make a difference by uniting together through social networks and working for change. We have seen many examples this year of the immense power of people to embrace hope over despair, to seek fair treatment where they are suffering discrimination, and to demand justice over tyranny.
They are aspiring to attain universal rights that the United Nations proudly upholds and relentlessly works to realize.
When we act on our shared values, we contribute to our common future. Ending poverty and inequality unleashes vast human potential. Promoting the Millennium Development Goals fosters prosperity and peace. And protecting our planet safeguards the natural resources that sustain us all.
Later this year, a seven billionth baby will be born into our world of complexity and contradiction. We have enough food for everyone, yet nearly a billion go hungry. We have the means to eradicate many diseases, yet they continue to spread. We have the gift of a rich natural environment, yet it remains subjected to daily assault and exploitation. All people of conscience dream of peace, yet too much of the world is in conflict and steeped in armaments.
Overcoming challenges of this magnitude will demand the best in each of us. Let us use this World Population Day to take determined actions to create a better future for our world’s seven billionth inhabitant and for generations to come.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Message for World Population Day
11 July 2011
As the world observes World Population day today, 11th July 2011, in Uganda, the climate is that of the 1st Anniversary of the bomb blasts which took off at two places as the world watched the finals of the World cup 2010! The stories we have read show what the families of the dead and those who were injured have gone through over the year. The 1st message to our government is to pull out of International politics like involvement in Somalia, yet when our country has more than enough problems. 2ndly, we need to focus on legislation to reduce the birth rate which is out of pace with the resources more so that people get reduced income in real value (purchasing power), the unemployment levels are simply scandalous. While the population continues to grow fast, it is sad the level of accidents many of which claim able members of society leaving behind dependents who have to be cared for. The motor cyclists are a big headache as many are being disabled and others die due to the ever increasing use of this type of transport.
TEARS AS MOURNERS REMEMBER JULY 11 BOMBINGS
Moaners bust out into tears during memorial prayers at Kyadodo Rugby Grounds on Monday. Photo by Yusuf Muziransa
The Monitor Photos
IT WAS A TEST EVEN FOR THE MORTUARY WORKER
RESTING PLACE: The City Mortuary in Kampala, where most of the dead were taken. PHOTO BY FLAVIA LANYERO
By Flavia Lanyero
Posted Monday, July 11 2011 at 00:00
While many revellers were enjoying the World Cup finals on July 10, 2010, Mr Zedekia Tumtegyereize was on duty at the Kampala City Council Mortuary. Being a 24-hour facility, it was normal routine for Mr Tumtegyereize to be at the mortuary and he did not anticipate that his duty station would be a hive of activity in a few hours.
When I visited the facility on July 6, 2010, it was quiet, a few corpses were placed on tables, with blood at the door way. What I think is a stench; according to Mr Tumtegyereize is the smell of chemicals used to preserve the bodies. But this is in direct contrast to what the mortuary was on July 10, last year.
“At first only 15 bodies were brought from the Ethiopian Village Restaurant,” narrates Mr Tumtegyereize. “We managed to fit them into the mortuary and these were normal numbers.” He says they cleaned and registered the bodies, ready for relatives to pick them the next day.
Just when Mr Tumtegyereize thought he was ready to close business for the day, a truck arrived at the mortuary with what he called “very many bodies which needed urgent attention”. “The work was too much, they brought in Mulago and UPDF mortuary attendants that helped us. There were so many bodies, the refrigerators were full, the tables were also full and we had to place bodies on the floor,” he recalls.
For over a month, I had been interviewing families of victims and survivors of the attacks, who kept wondering why corpses of their loved ones were piled on the mortuary floor, some like heaps of potatoes. But when I meet Mr Tumtegyereize, I learn that the facility has only a capacity of 18 bodies, fitted in three refrigerators that can only take six bodies each.
Room for everyone
The attendant tells me, despite the fact that the place was overflowing with bodies, they tried their best, ensuring that none was left outside the facility. “Even if you bring 1,000 bodies, they will be put in the mortuary there cannot be a possibility of bodies staying outside,” he says. “What helped us was that the following morning relatives of the dead came and took most of them away.”
Even for a person who you would think has a thick skin courtesy of attending to the dead on a daily basis, there is a breaking point. The sight of tens of corpses left Mr Tumtegyereize traumatized and sick. He kept praying that it does not happen again. “That day was the worst. I felt dizzy, I didn’t have strength in my hands I took the day off the following day and rested,” he says. He would need more than a day. The whole week, Mr Tumtegyereize kept away from duty, he was sick. He, however, cannot place the finger to what caused the sickness exactly—when asked to choose between fatigue and a grisly sight.
For a gray-haired man who has worked at this facility for 30 years—the July 10 incident was massive but not unique. “There is a day a church collapsed on people in Kalerwe, we handled many bodies so this one was not the first time we were handling many bodies,” Mr Tumtegyereize says.
How does one survive such a calling—interacting with the dead daily?
“I was a support staff of the Police before I applied for this job. There was a job vacancy at the mortuary and I applied for it, I knew what I was getting into,” he says.
Through this job, he has raised his children, the oldest of whom completed school and is now married. But like all jobs, there exist challenges. As we converse, I learn that work has stalled because a new refrigerator is yet to be installed. The mortuary has also run out of water. Mr Tumtegyereize says if the authorities could only rehabilitate the mortuary and install water reservoirs, work would be easier.
OUR POPULATION PROBLEMS REQUIRE SUSTAINABLE PLANS
27 January 2011
As the elections draw closer, several pledges and promises are being made to the electorate.
This year's elections come at a time when the country is grappling with the challenges of a rapidly growing and largely youthful population amid limited resources. Uganda's population stands at about 33 million with at least 1.2 million people added to it every year. About 56 per cent of our population is under the age of 18 and therefore largely dependent on the small working populace.
Our population is growing rapidly mainly because of the high fertility levels. On average, a mother in Uganda gives birth to seven children. At the same time, 41 per cent of married women are not using contraceptives.
Candidates at all elective levels must prioritise population issues. Politicians have always considered a big population as a potential source of votes, paying little attention to improving its quality to make it more productive. Time has come for our leaders to work closely with population and development experts to find ways of managing the ever increasing population.
The electorate needs to know how candidates are planning, once voted into office, to transform our largely youthful population into a productive one. Although 50 per cent of the economically active youth are not engaged in income generating employment, Uganda's population is expected to remain youthful in the next 15 years. This means a lot of resources need to be devoted towards meeting the basic necessities of this youthful population.
We must accept the fact that our population is growing. Alongside this growth are enormous challenges, especially service provision, that need to be addressed so that the surge in population does not become a demographic burden.
Those vying for decision-making offices should also plan to ensure that all couples who want to space or limit their births have access to quality reproductive health services. Mothers should be supported to space their children. This will help the children grow well and also keep mothers healthy and economically productive.
To successfully address critical areas in the health sector, candidates should start laying strategies for increasing government expenditure in the sector. Currently, about 10 per cent of the national budget is spent on health. This falls short of the 15 per cent agreed upon by African governments in 2002 in Abuja, Nigeria. An increased budgetary allocation will aid the sector to address the challenges of inadequate human resource, infrastructure and drugs. Many economically incapacitated Ugandans die because they cannot access quality, consistent and timely preventive and curative health care.
Why, for example, should we continue having stock-outs of essential drugs and contraceptives? Why would the country lack a fully functioning radiotherapy machine at the Uganda Cancer Institute?
As aspiring leaders comb the electorate for votes, they should have sustainable plans on how to improve the quality of the population.
Mr Bugembe is a national programme officer at the Population Secretariat
7/11 bombings: One year later
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By Andrew Bagala & Nicolas Kostov (email the author)
Posted Monday, July 11 2011 at 00:00
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Today marks one year since terrorists attacked Kampala on a night when the world’s attention was drawn to the football World Cup finals in South Africa. Three bomb explosions killed 76 people and wounded hundreds others at the Kyadondo Rugby Club and the Ethiopian Village Restaurant on July 11, 2010.
The al-Shabaab, a militant Islamist group based in Somalia, claimed responsibility for the attacks. As Ugandans mourn and reflect on the events of that fateful night today, government by yesterday evening had not released any official plan to mark the 7/11 anniversary.
Last night, Daily Monitor asked the Minister of Information, Ms Mary Karooro Okurut, if a government had organised a commemoration for the victims. The minister said the government would be coming out with a statement soon. The executive of Kyadondo Rugby Club has organised a memorial ceremony at the club ground today. But just how safe is Uganda, 12 months later? The public has noted with concern about the laxity in safety measures at most public places.
Days after the attacks, taxi and bus parks had security checks and metal detectors but both have long since disappeared. It is now also commonplace to enter shopping arcades, bars and discotheques without rigorous security or any security check.
Just days after the bombings, the police enforced strict guidelines for holding social events. Organisers of functions likely to attract more than 50 people were expected to inform the Inspector General of Police at least one month before the event so that the police provides security. However, adherence to this guideline seems to have since been abandoned.
The county still finds itself under the ‘highly credible’ threat of further attacks. The police has issued a statement warning of a possible terrorist attack before July 12. “The information we have indicates that they are planning twin attacks in Kenya and Uganda,” said police spokeswoman Judith Nabakooba. In a press statement, the police said terrorist groups usually conduct attacks on or around the same date as previous attacks.
The public has been asked to remain vigilant. Today, counter-terrorism officers will be deployed in the city centre and its surrounding areas.
“Our deployments are intended to see that there is no recurrence of the attacks,” said Ms Nabakooba. The terrorist threat and its accompanying measures come amid a backdrop of discontent in the capital.
The opposition has questioned whether security agencies are using the July 11 bombings to limit the rights of association and expression of people. DP spokesman Mwaka Lutukumoi said the police has at times used terrorism as a pretext for infringing on the rights of the opposition.
EVOLUTION OF THE WORLD POPULATION DAY - 11th JULY
In 1989, in its decision 89/46, the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme recommended that, in order to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues in the context of overall development plans and programmes and the need to find solutions for these issues, 11 July should be observed by the international community as World Population Day.
The unprecedented decrease in mortality that began to accelerate in the more developed parts of the world in the nineteenth century and expanded to all the world in the twentieth century is one of the major achievements of humanity. By one estimate, life expectancy at birth increased from 30 to 67 years between 1800 and 2005, leading to a rapid growth of the population: from 1 billion in 1810 to nearly 7 billion in 2010.
The Population Division collaborates closely with the agencies, funds, programmes and bodies of the United Nations system in the implementation of the work programme on population and in the follow-up to the International Conference on Population and Development. United Nations missions, national Government offices, United Nations offices, researchers, media representatives and the public regularly consult the Population Division regarding population estimates and projections, and information and analyses on population and development issues.
At its thirty-eighth session (E/2007/24), the Statistical Commission requested the United Nations Statistics Division and other international agencies to increase their technical assistance to national statistical offices in order to strengthen national capacity for the implementation of the 2010 World Programme on Population and Housing Censuses. In addition, the Commission requested countries to begin implementation of the revised Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses.
UNFPA works with many partners, both within and outside the United Nations system, including Governments, non-governmental organizations, civil society, faith-based organizations, religious leaders and others, to achieve its mission. To better respond to local needs, UNFPA increasingly devotes resources to country-led efforts, placing emphasis on country-focused and country-led implementation to achieve improved results, at the same time addressing mutual accountability and strengthening harmonization and alignment.
BODA BODA VICTIMS FLOOD HOSPITALS
Tuesday, 5th April, 2011
David Byaruhanga, who was involved in a bodaboda accident, lying on a hospital bed in Mulago. He was riding on a bodaboda on Kira Road when a car rammed into them.
By CONAN BUSINGE
and TADDEO BWAMBALE
HOSPITALS in and around Kampala are increasingly admitting a higher number of motorcycle accident victims, according to a survey done by New Vision.
Mulago hospital’s casualty ward, which has an official bed occupancy capacity of 52 beds, now admits about 150 patients everyday.
The hospital receives about 300 to 500 accident victims everyday, according to Dr. Robert Wangoda, the head of Mulago’s surgery department.
Wangoda said about half of these are victims of motorcycle accidents.
The hospital is forced to leave many of the victims lying on verandahs and in the corridors.
“There is an urgent need for more human resources, beds, stretchers and wheelchairs if the casualty ward is to perform effectively,” he said.
Nsambya and Rubaga hospitals also have a high number of motorcycle accident victims compared to other road accident victims.
At Rubaga hospital, five of every six accident patients admitted are victims of motorcycle accidents.
At Nsambya hospital, most of the accident victims either fell off or were knocked by motorcycles.
At Mulago Hospital, New Vision
At Rubaga, another patient called Brian Kafeero was knocked by a speeding motorcycle last week.
He sustained deep cuts on his head and arms. The cyclist fled the scene of the accident, leaving Kafeero in the middle of the road.
At St. Patrick’s Ward in Nsambya Hospital, by yesterday, there were 14 casualties. Most of them were victims of motorcycle accidents.
Charles Ariko, a journalist, has been hospitalised for over one year at Nsambya Hospital after falling off a motorcycle. He dislocated his backbone and had to undergo major surgery.
Statistics from the Police indicated that an average of 10 people perish daily in road accidents in Uganda.
It is estimated that about 70% of fatal accidents in the country are caused by motorcyclists.
Accidents are gravely ‘eating’ into the country’s health budget, with 62.5% of Mulago’s surgery budget going to victims of road accidents.
The hospital is also gravely affected since it has only 26 orthopedic surgeons and 15 neuro-surgeons.
More so, 2.7% of its GDP is lost in road accidents. Reports also show that 75% of fatalities are male, with 40% of these below 25 years of age.
BODA_BODA ACCIDENT VICTIMS, CYCLISTS SPEAK OUT
Jamal Kiyemba, fish monger at Zana
I was knocked off my motorcycle as I was going to collect fish. It is a trying time for me since my businesses have collapsed and I have no one to pay my medical bills.
My leg is buried in plasters and I have to remain in hospital for several other months before I can go back to my two children and wife.
Helly Ebega, security guard admitted at Rubaga Hospital
I was riding my bicycle on the Northern bypass in Kampala when a boda boda cyclist rammed into me from behind.
I fell down and don’t know how I was brought to the hospital. I don’t know what caused the accident because I was on the right side of the road.
Joseph Ilemera, boda boda cyclist at Sadolin Paints stage
Lack of respect between drivers and cyclists has contributed to a number of road accidents.
In most cases, taxi drivers intimidate boda boda riders, especially when over-taking. This forces the cyclists to swerve off the tarmac suddenly.
Ogen Odoi Malillo, a boda boda operator at Kyebando stage
The main cause of accidents is reckless riding, especially by cyclists.
The blame should also go to passengers for turning a deaf ear to the problem. They should be responsible enough to control speed and guide cyclists.
Robert Bukenya, a boda boda cyclist at Shell Jinja Road stage
Our roads are narrow and many cyclists are not trained well to ride on city streets.
The Government should construct separate roads for pedestrians and motorists. The police should penalise indisciplined cyclists.
Joseph Kayemba, admitted at Rubaga Hospital
I was involved in an accident while fleeing thugs who were chasing me in Kyebando last month.
I don’t know whether I was hit on the leg by the passenger I was carrying or other people. I hit something that I don’t remember and broke my leg. Doctors have recommended surgery.
Reagan Matajja, accident survivor at Rubaga Hospital
I was involved in an accident on Sunday morning when the motorcycle I was travelling on was knocked by a taxi.
I don’t know what caused the accident because I lost consciousness after the incident. I used a boda boda so I could reach my place of work in time. I sustained severe injuries on my face, arms and legs.
Additional reporting by Viola Nabatanzi and Pascal Kwesigwa
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