The Ugandan government is proposing a law that makes it criminal for individuals found spitting in public, a habit that is deemed to be dangerous to public health.
The proposed Public Health (Amendment) Bill, if passed by Parliament, would impose a 12-month jail term or 150 currency points (Shs3m) penalty or both for the culprits.
Government contends that spitting comes with advanced health consequences that includes the spread of diseases.
However, medical practitioners under their umbrella body, the Uganda Medical Association (UMA), have protested the clause, advancing arguments that spitting is a biological function, which is a response to the disease in someone’s body, Ugandan Dailymonitor reports.
“We cannot prohibit spitting, or any other form of disposal of infectious material, unless we provide people with alternatives. Hence the government needs to provide sanitary and hygiene facilities in public spaces,” said Dr Edith Nakku-Joloba, the vice president of UMA.