Gov’t Proposes Shs4m fine for unvaccinated persons
KAMPALA, UGANDA; Government has proposed an amendment to the Public Health Act which will slap fines and jail sentences to parents who refuse or fail to present their children for vaccination.
The amendment which is contained in the Public Health (Amendment Bill) seeks to streamline measures geared towards curbing the spread of infectious diseases.
Presented on Friday, February 04, by Hon. David Bahati the Trade Minister, the controversial bill which has already sparked public outrage and concern from Human Rights Activists has been committed to the Committee on Health for scrutiny.
In the bill, a proposed amendment to section 47 of the Act seeks to penalise parents by way of six months in jail and Shs 4 million or either, for those who fail to avail their children for vaccination or re-vaccination of any kind.
Those who are found to be in the concealment of infectious disease as declared by the Health Minister, risk one year in jail or a fine of Shs 3 million or both such imprisonment and fine, should the new amendments pass.
Under section 22 of the current Public Health Act, a person who offers for hire a dwelling previously inhabited by a person suffering from an infectious disease without decontaminating is fined Shs 1000 but the new amendment seeks to hike the fine to Shs 100,000.
Section 19 of the Bill seeks to amend Section 27 of the current Act to compulsorily require the divulging of information, including name, dwelling place, and mobile phone number, of a person who is suspected to be having an infectious disease for tracing purposes.
For concealing mortality or an abnormal disease in animals, the law seeks to have one in prison for six months together with a fine of Shs 4 million or either the fine or imprisonment.
School administrators who admit students without evidence of vaccination against a disease as required by the Ministry of Health commit an offence and will, as the amendment suggests, suffer a Shs4 million fine and six months in prison or either of the penalties.
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