Innovation fund to help with poverty alleviation

By Daudi Zirimala

The government of Uganda has come up with an Innovation Fund Frame work intended to promote innovators work by identifying those scientists who come up with innovations that help alleviate poverty.

This was revealed by the commissioner in the ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations Willy Ofwono Osinde saying the Innovation Fund framework was passed by parliament and through this fund the government will be able to support innovations in the country.

Speaking during the Academia Meet industry conference, Ofwono through this fund the ministry of science will be able to identify who qualifies for this fund most especially those innovators that come up with innovation that can generate household incomes.

The conference is intended to bridge the gap between the labor market and the education sector in partnership with action aid Uganda, silver bullet among others to bring together various stakeholders including policy makers, students, young innovators, employers and scholars to foster a discussion on career and opportunities in science, technology, industry and innovation fields under the them harnessing engineering, science and innovation for Uganda’s economic growth.

Speaking at the official opening, Didas Muhumuza,Extractives coordinator action aid Uganda said that there is visible misalignment between education sector and potential employers on the skill set and workforce requirements.

“Through collaborative efforts such as these, there can be full awareness of the skills the industry needs to achieve its goals to enable targeted actions such as expanding the skills base and inform employee development and hiring program,” said Muhumuza.

“In order for Uganda to fast track socioeconomic development, there is need for expansion of engineering capacity, we want to ensure that the workforce is suitably prepared for the current and future needs of the industry and the country,”said Maryanne Karamagi Executive director of Silver Bullet, the brain behind the Academia meet industry Convention 2019.

According to Vision 2040, Uganda intends to re-orient itself to make innovation the main driver of economic growth and the key pillar of competitiveness in trade and this necessitates drastic change of approach to education sector with full support from government and the private sector so that the linkage between Science, Technology and Innovation and economic development is strengthened.

Mother held in hospital for five months for failure to clear hospital bills

A mother who gave birth to twins five months ago is still held hostage at Bishop Ceaser Asili Memorial Hospital in Luweero town over unpaid medical bills.

The mother, identified as Stella Adongo, a resident of Kizito zone in Luweero district, was admitted at the facility on December 21, 2016 and gave birth to twins by caesarean section. She was subsequently billed 495,000 Shillings which she had to clear before she could be discharged from the facility.

However, the 20-year together with her husband Festo Magumba failed to raise the money. The man later disappeared and switched off his mobile phone leaving the mover stranded. Adongo has since remained in the maternity ward where she and her children are surviving on handouts from well-wishers.

Adongo says that the hospital administrators refused to discharge her and she gets daily reminders from the hospital cashier to clear the bill before getting out of the facility.

Adongo was also supposed to undergo another operation three months after delivery. However, the hospital declined to conduct the operation over unpaid bills.

Bishop Ceaser Asili Memorial is Catholic Church founded private hospital based in Luweero town. The facility receives 77 million Shillings annually under the Primary Health Care strategy, which seeks to make health care accessible to all individuals and families in a community.

Paul Mukungu the LC III Chairperson of Luweero Town Council faults the health facility for the inhumane treatment that Adongo has been subjected to over the last five months. He says that there is no reason for the hospital to hold the patient they have access to Primary Health Care funds allocated by the Ministry of Health to address such challenges.

But Sister Ernestine Akullu, the Administrator of Bishop Ceaser Asili Memorial Hospital denied holding the patient. She says that the hospital had hired the husband Festo Magumba as a porter on its construction site to help him raise the money. However, Magumba worked for only one day and disappeared from the site.

Akullu adds that the facility subsequently sought her relatives and advised them to commit to a payment plan but they failed to adhere to the advice.  She says that they have since petitioned FIDA, the Association of Women Lawyers to intervene in the matter and restore hope for the desperate mother.

Stella Adongo met with Festo Magumba in Gulu where he had gone to burn charcoal and relocated with him to Luweero town council to start the family.

 

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HIV patients abandon medication due to prevailing hunger

The biting hunger situation in Karamoja has forced persons living with HIV to abandon their medication. The hunger was triggered by the prolonged dry spell, which affected crops gardens for the last two seasons.

Some of the people living with HIV in Moroto told URN that much as anti-retroviral drugs -ARVs have been helpful in boosting their immune system and enabled most of them to live longer; they now skip medication because of hunger.

Madinah Adong, one of the persons living with HIV says the food crisis has forced most of them out of the hospital since they feel getting drugs without food in the house is dangerous to their health. She notes that a number of them are breastfeeding mothers on treatment.

Adong asks government to intervene before all the efforts to save persons living with HIV go to waste due to hunger.

Christine Ajilong, the Chairperson of persons living with HIV in Kaabong, says more than 210 people have refused to take drugs due to hunger. She notes that the families of persons living with HIV are in dire need of food.

Ajilong says more than half of the of the 1200 people living with HIV in Kaabong are facing a severe food crisis.  Dr. Dennis Esayu, the in charge Anti-retroviral Treatment- ART Clinic at Moroto Regional Referral Hospital acknowledges that the food situation has affected drug adherence among his clients.

He notes that most of the clients who visit the ART Clinic complain of hunger and don’t return for drugs. Dr. Esayu notes that food is highly recommended for persons on medication as some clients register complications when they take drugs on empty stomachs. He says some clients develop side effects like diarrhea, vomiting and nightmares in the short term when they don’t eat something before taking drugs while cases of anaemia among others are recorded in the long run.

”We have heard cases of clients resorting to alcohol [kwete] when they want to take medicine and this is not good for their health” Dr. Esayu noted. Kotido District LC V Chairperson, Ambrose Lotuke says the issue of persons living with HIV skipping medications has overwhelmed his desk and every meeting he attends at the district.

”Unless the situation is addressed, we’re going to lose more people especially HIV clients to hunger. The drugs these people take are very strong and require something in the stomach to keep them moving” Lotuke said in a phone interview.

He adds that the most affected in his district are communities in the rural areas as they are hit by high poverty levels. The HIV prevalence in Karamoja stands at 5.3 percent. Government last delivered food to the region in early February this year.

 

 

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Drop these habits or you die broke

You were born poor, but if you die poor you have yourself to blame. Before you finish reading this article, at least 8 out of 10 people will have done something that contributes to their future poverty. Only 2 out of 10 will have done what is required to remain prosperous in the future. The question you need to ask yourself today is, “I’m I among the lucky 2 or the not-so-lucky 8?”
Here are 6 habits that could easily draw your route-map to a life of perpetual poverty.

1.You focus on linear income instead of passive income

Most people focus on linear income in the name of salary, allowances and one-off payments. Wise men on the other hand focus on passive income in the name of royalties, interest rates, value addition and profit.
Relying on linear income is similar to using buckets to fetch water from the river. With time, you’ll get too old and too tired to transport them to and fro and that means you’ll have to starve for as long as you don’t go to the river.
bucketsRelying on passive income on the other hand is similar to building a pipeline. It may require a lot of work at the beginning but with time, you’ll no longer have to go to the river to get water – the river will come to you and you’ll not starve.
This is the most fundamental principal of wealth creation that most (including you) are oblivious about.

2.You’re still waiting to start your journey of success

Everyone wants to succeed but very few people are willing to step into the cold waters. Do you see the problem here? In the history of the world, no marathon race has ever been won (or even finished) by someone who never left the starting line.
As you’re stuck saying that you have no enough capital to start, someone else is busy making good use of whatever little they have.
As you’re busy lamenting that there are no business ideas, someone else is busy sharpening his innovation claws.
When you’re busy complaining about a problem in your society, someone else is busy thinking how to start a business that solves that problem.
Continue waiting at the starting line and poverty will soon find you there to keep you company.

3.When you earn more you spend more
Consistently raising your expenditure is a good way to accumulate debt and to remain stuck in the echelons of poverty. To stay out of bad debt, you will either need to find a way to earn more or spend less. The first and best option is to find ways to earn more and keep your expenditure constant.
As you know this can only be done by creating multiple streams of income and lot’s of thinking is necessary in that case.
The second option is to simply cut on unnecessary expenses. The money that is saved from these budget cuts could be used for embarking on future investment programs.

4.You complain instead of committing

“Life is too expensive”; “It’s hopeless; I’ll never get out of debt”; “I don’t earn enough money.” Have you ever uttered any of these statements before, or perhaps all of them? Old habits die hard; however, as long as you do nothing to change; then you and your coming generation have a direct ticket to the land of poverty.
Stop complaining and making lame excuses. Instead, take responsibility for your non-productive habits and focus on changing them – then do it!

5.You live for today, hoping tomorrow will care about its worries

In the 1950s a scientist from Harvard University studied the reasons for upward socio-economic mobility. He wanted to know how comes some generations get wealthier while others get poorer. All his research brought him to a single factor that he concluded was more accurate than any other thing in predicting success – he called it “The Time Pespective”.
Time perspective is basically how far you project into the future when you make a decision today. An example of a long-term perspective is when a wise family man buys land or insurance for their child, even though he or she will not need it for the next eighteen years. This is a long-term approach that involves sacrificing in the short term to assure better outcomes in the long-term.
Most people remain poor because their “time perspective” is focused on short-term goals such as meeting basic lifestyle needs, buying luxury items, paying rent etc…are you one of them?

6.You just don’t get it!

The problem is that you keep learning but you don’t get it. You’re educated but you’ve never internalized what your teachers told you. You have knowledge but you don’t want to think too hard how to use it. You’re still stuck at the starting line all along because you don’t want to start small and grow bit by bit from there. You’re still stuck in the lottery mentality hoping that one day you’ll wake up and voila! discover “the newest, incredibly easiest way to get wealth.”

Final Word

Most people remain poor, not because they don’t have the knowledge. Not because they don’t read Kuza Biashara and other business-related articles. But because they don’t LEARN BY DOING. They just don’t get it!
Being wealthy and prosperous requires more than just physical ownership. It is a state of happiness, well-being while wishing the same for others. So while you are working to escape from poverty, remember to be happy along the way!

 

 

-Kuzablog