Friday, 16 May 2014


The Batwa in Kabale district are historically known for their belief in and use of traditional birth attendants, self administered deliveries and use of local herbs with less or no regard to accessing formal health services. And this in a way has often contributed to the high infant mortality rates in the batwa community, because the traditional birth attendants and individuals aren’t trained to handle any child birth related complications that sometimes accrue. 

However through continuous sensitization of the batwa on their rights especially the women and girls, African International Christian Ministry (AICM) has been able to cause behavioural change among the Batwa.  African International Christian Ministry (AICM) is an IDF supported grantee in Kabale district that works to contribute to the realization of women’s rights among Batwa resident communities in Butanda, Bufundi, Muko, and Ikumba sub counties in Kabale District.
Since AICM’s interventions batwa women are beginning to access health services like general treatment, antenatal and maternity care services from government health facilities. Tumwakire Novence is one of the Batwa women that has been able to access antenatal services and also managed to deliver from Kabale Regional Referral Hospital. Novence is grateful to AICM for educating her about her rights to health and for encouraging her to use the services of a health facility; “i have been operated on twice while delivering my two children, i still do not know how i would have pulled through delivery if i had used our traditional means. I am so happy that i opted for the government health facility” Novence notes.

Tumwakire Novence is from Murambo Batwa centre, Butanda Sub County, Kabale District. She is also a member of the health insurance scheme, an initiative that has encouraged the Batwa to go for medical services in designated health centres and hospitals.

Kabimbiri Jackson husband to Novence attending to her during delivery at Kabale Regional Referral Hospital