Effective communication and children’s right to health: the case study of Kampala District
Tumukwatse, Caleb Magara
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The study is conceived along the understanding that every human being is naturally entitled to the natural rights, since they are granted by God. Through the natural law, these rights cannot be taken away by mans authority and are therefore innate and inalienable rights. The study was conceived along the understanding that children like any other human beings are naturally granted/entitled to the fundamental human rights and the right to health in particular, irrespective of their age, color, sex, or family background. This study therefore analyzes to what extent effective communication can enhances the protection and promotion of children’s right to health in Uganda. To gather this information, both qualitative and quantitative approaches were employed to assess the problem, basing on the responses from the field. Particularly, the methods involved were interviewing, questionnaire, focus group discussions, observation and the written records. Triangulation became pertinent in a sense that loopholes of one methodology were rectified by the other The findings of the study reveal that the successfulness or understanding of the health rights of children is a function of parents on the front line and other key partners/stakeholders in dissemination of information in this regard. Such partners include NGOs, Charitable Organizations, and government bodies in supplementing the health campaign. Furthermore, the social economic background of Children, existing political conditions, knowledge or understanding of health rights and freedom granted to children are fundamental determinants of the health right of children. Similarly, the findings revealed that lack of awareness of health rights by children could be a function of neglected roles of parents, poor government policy, poverty, and traditional beliefs that maintain children in low positions to make them submissive to their parents. It was found out that most of the parents are illiterate, and do not know how to read or write issue relating to children. Even some of those who are literate are not exposed to the knowledge and information about the need to protect the children’s rights. More so, human rights bodies and advocates in Uganda should endeavor to scale up, streamline and mobilize the community towards creation of awareness and sensitization on fundamental human rights and individual freedoms, using effective communication at all levels of planning, implementation and evaluation. Finally, the researcher recommends that, poverty reduction programs for parents should be incorporated as a means to improve household incomes. This will enable parents provide children good nutrition, medical care, hygiene, sanitation and access to health education. Awareness programs would help both parents and children. Therefore, the government should make favorable policies tailored towards bringing stake holders on board. This would eventually promote and protect the right to health of children. Effective communication should cut across poverty levels of parents if the health rights of children are to be promoted and protected.