A university in Uganda has withdrawn a requirement for female nursing and midwifery students to take a pregnancy test before sitting their exams, after facing a backlash.
Kampala International University issued a notice on Tuesday stating: “This is to inform all female nurses and midwives that you are supposed to go to KIU-TH for a pregnancy test at a fee of 5000 UGX paid to hospital accounts office.”
It added: “Failure to do so, you will not sit for UNMEB (Uganda Nurses and Midwives Examinations Board) exams.”
The fee of 5,000 Ugandan shillings is about $1.33.Epidemiologist Catherine Kyobutungi, executive director of the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), shared a photo of the notice on Twitter on Wednesday and wrote: “This is total hogwash, discriminatory and unacceptable.”
She added: “Female nursing and midwifery students being asked to take a pregnancy test, at their own cost as a pre-condition for sitting exams is peak nonsense!!!”Dr. Githinji Gitahi, CEO of non-profit Amref Health Africa, responded by tweeting: “What? Why? Really? Because pregnancy has what to do with exams? The fetus gives undue advantage in the exam? I am so confused.”