Sexual Reproductive Health building, Lira University, commissioned

VC, Prof Jasper Ogwal Okeng cuts the tape to commission the building

By Patrick Opio

Senior Communications Officer      

The Dutch government, through the Netherlands Universities Foundation for International Cooperation (NUFFIC) under the “Strengthening Education and Training in Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights” (SET-SRHR) project in Uganda, has funded the construction and equipping of a multi-disciplinary Center at Lira University.

Ms Judith Adokorach was the Chief Guest for the commissioning ceremony of the SRHR sexual education training Center at the Lira University on 14th October 2022.

Adokorach hailed Vice Chancellor, Prof. Jasper Ogwal and his team for the support that saw the construction of the center completed. “This is a regional SRHR- Center of excellence to bolster e-learning, sexual reproductive health awareness to our youth in the region, boost social and economic endeavoiurs, etc”, she adds.

She noted that the violation of sexual reproductive health leads to gender based violence and impacts negatively on the development and human life, a situation that must be avoided by all stakeholders.

The Policy Officer, SRHR and Gender, at the Embassy of Netherlands, Prof. Auma Okwany says the project aimed at enhancing inclusive SRHR services and education, permeating different human resources issues, trained over 600 SRHR professional trainers.

Prof Auma revealed that the total funding from the Kingdom of the Netherlands through the SET-SRHR and STEPS for JLOS Projects to Lira University amounts to euro 250,000.

Five staff from Lira university were trained in GBS and sexual reproductive health. It is a multidisciplinary focal point for SRHR training in the region, facilitates open and distance e-learning.

Auma adds that the center is a multidisciplinary point for training on SRHR in north and other parts of the country. She reveals that the SET-SRHR trained national Master trainers and Post-Graduate diploma in SRHR

While receiving the building, equipped with ICT equipment, Prof. Dr. Jasper Ogwal Okeng noted that the support came at a time when the new university is growing at a high rate, with dire need for some essential facilities and services.

He added that the IT equipment at the SRHR Center will boost virtual training programmes at the university. He praised the project funders adding that the partnership had yielded fruits by boosting teaching and learning process in the institution.

“We do not rely only on physical lectures but rather online teaching, beyond the lecture walls, offering learning opportunities to students from across the world. This has been made possible with the help of IT advancement we have adapted into the university system,” Prof Ogwal Okeng asserts.

The VC noted that although Lira University is one of the youngest Public Universities in Uganda, it has exhibited a steady growth with research and innovations high in its agenda, attracting development partners from across the world.

The equipment consists of video conferencing equipment to support online training and delivery, 2 projectors, 2 projector screens, a printer and a public address system. The equipment are primarily for the SRHR Centre. The total cost of the equipment is 21000 euros (about Ush78Million).

Abraham Opito, SET-SRHR Project Technical Advisor, on behalf of the Overall Project Director for the SET-SRHR, Professor Auma Okwany, handed over the assorted equipment to the VC to be used at the SRHR Centre for Lira University.

“The equipment are part of a larger package of support which have been provided with funding from the NUFFIC under the SET-SRHR Project,” Opito explains.

Opito named other areas of support as the construction of SRHR Centre, provision of furniture and training of Master Trainers who will integrate SRHR curriculum in relevant courses and programs at the university and offer SRHR information, counselling and referrals to students and neighbouring communities.

According to Opito, the SET-SRHR Project aimed at strengthening SRHR education and training capacity and contributing towards sustainable demographic and human capital development and inclusive economic growth in Uganda. It has been implemented by a consortium led by the International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rutgers in the Netherlands and Makerere University School of Public Health in Kampala and Nsamizi Institute of Social Studies in Uganda.

Opito observed that the support will not only improve SRHR education and training outcomes here at the University but also contribute towards improving SRHR indicators including improved access to SRHR information and services for young people, reduction in teenage pregnancy, family planning services and management of STI’s including HIV/AIDS.

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