By Our Reporter
The Uganda Law Reform Commission has told Parliament that they don’t have a stand yet on mandatory Covid-19 vaccination as proposed by Minister of Health, Dr. Ruth Aceng.
While interacting with the Parliamentary Committee on Health chaired by Dr. Charles Ayume yesterday 23rd February, 2022, the ULRC members said they will have to conduct further research on compulsory vaccination amidst an uproar about the proposal.
This is after the Parliamentary Committee on Health chaired by Dr. Charles Ayume sought the commission’s stand on the matter.
The Commission was on Wednesday, 23 February 2022 making a presentation on the Public Health (Amendment) Bill 2021 which among others seeks to ensure compulsory vaccination.
When asked by Kabale Municipality MP, Dr. Nicholas Kamara to comment on the proposal to ensure compulsory vaccination, Dr. Pamela Tibihikirra-Kalyegira, the Chairperson of the Commission said that they did not have a position on the matter as some people are for mandatory vaccination while others are against it.
Tibihikirra-Kalyegira said that Austria and France for example, implemented the mandatory vaccination, while several parts of the United States (USA) and United Kingdom (UK) have not implemented it.
“We shall have to do further research on the matter because four of us can agree to compulsory vaccination but others may say no. We shall research on the matter and get back to the committee,” she said.
Joreline Akubu, an Assistant Commissioner at the Law Reform Commission said that they will look at what the situation is in a different jurisdiction to see how they are implementing the compulsory vaccination.
On section 14 of the Bill which provides for the destruction of bedding, clothing, or any other item of a person suffering from infectious diseases, the commission proposes that a medical officer should be allowed to destroy the property without getting an order from the court as proposed in the bill.
According to Joreline Akubu, relying on a court order to destroy clothing, beddings or any material or item belonging to a person suffering from an infectious disease takes long and puts other people at risk.
“The process of securing a court order is long; if someone is infected and the items or clothing among others are infected, they should be destroyed immediately,” she said.
Rukungiri Municipality MP, Hon Dr Elisa Rutahigwa agreed with the proposal of destroying the infected materials without a court order but also proposed to have local council structures involved.
Ayume said the matters raised by the commission are pertinent and will be revisited by the committee.