Ugandans who spit in public could spend a year in prison or pay a $830 fine if proposed changes to the Public Health law are passed.
The Public Health Bill of 2021 aims to eliminate a risky behaviour that poses a risk of disease propagation.
The proposal aims to change Section 27 of the Public Health Act, which forbids spitting in public places or vehicles unless it is done into designated receptacles.
The Ugandan Parliament passed the bill last month, and the Health Committee is currently reviewing it.
Doctors, on the other hand, are opposed to the modifications, claiming that spitting is a biological function in response to an illness.
They told legislators that the government should provide sanitary and hygienic amenities in public spaces as an alternative through their lobby, Uganda Medical Association.
“Individuals are also mandated to take care of public health, we should not spit anywhere in public, but that shouldn’t stop us from spitting. Public transport service providers should provide receptacles. Some patients use public means of transport, so should they stay home and die?” Dr Herbert Luswata, the association’s secretary-general, said.
The doctors also reject the government’s proposal to punish those who refuse to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
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