There has been public uproar after Kampala International University (KIU) after the administration of the higher education institution demanded that all student nurses and midwives should take pregnancy tests before being allowed to sit their examinations.
Trouble started on November 08 when, in an internal memo, the Dean of Students at the School of Nursing Sciences (SONS) at the Western Campus of the Kampala International University (KIU) issued orders to all nurses and midwives pursuing studies at the school to undergo a pregnancy test before the exams.
This meant that those found pregnant would be blocked from sitting exams administered by the Uganda Nurses and Midwifery Examination Board (Unmeb). The students were supposed to pay Shs 5,000 for the tests which were supposed to be exclusively conducted by the KIU Teaching Hospital or KIU-TH. Tycoon Hassan Basajjabalaba owns both the university and its teaching hospital.
“This is to inform all female nurses and midwives that you are supposed to go to KIU-TH for a pregnancy test at a fee of 500 UGX paid to Hospital Accounts office,” read an internal memo from the Office of the Dean of the School of Nursing Sciences on November 08. “Failure to do so, you will not sit for Unmeb exams. Thank you.”
KIU BOSSES EAT OWN WORDS
But when it leaked online, the memo sparked off condemnation against KIU, with many wondering why the university would police adults and want to block them from sitting exams because they chose to become pregnant. Others even argued that the university just wanted to make money since tests were done at the same businessman’s hospital.
After the condemnation, KIU Western Campus’ administration has withdrawn the orders for the mandatory pregnancy tests, informing student nurses and midwives that they do not need to take the tests.
In a notice issued by Prof Frank Kaharuza Mugisha, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) in charge of KIU Western Campus, on Thursday, November 10, the internal memo by the SONS Dean has been withdrawn. Prof Kaharuza told the nurses and midwives to channel all their efforts to preparations for the Unmeb exams instead of worrying about the pregnancy tests.
“This is to inform you all that the internal memo on pregnancy and pregnancy testing dated 8 November 2022 has been rescinded (withdrawn). Please focus on getting ready for your UNMEB Exams. I wish you all the best in the forthcoming exams,” wrote DVC Prof Kaharuza in a notice to all nurses and midwives at the Kampala International University School of Nursing Sciences.