Fox Odoi Proposes Restricting DNA Testing to Protect Children

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Hon. Fox Odoi, MP for West Budama North East and Chairperson of Parliament’s Human Rights Commission, believes DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) testing should be limited to safeguard minors. During a media interview at parliament yesterday, 21st June 2023, he urged the government to enact rules and regulations that protect the rights of innocent people caught in the crossfire.

“Regardless of the outcome of the results, DNA should be restricted to protect children; they are innocent victims who should be protected from the crossfire.” “If a child is born in your home, it is your responsibility to care for them until they reach the age of maturity,” Odoi explained.

According to Simon Mundeyi, a Ministry of Internal Affairs spokesperson, the percentage of men wanting DNA testing for their children has risen to 70%.

“The number of men requesting DNA testing for their children has increased; in one week alone, you can have up to 40 men coming to the Ministry looking for the service, compared to three years ago, when there would only be three requests for DNA services in a whole year,” Mundeyi stated.

In Uganda, the DNA testing fad has recently gained traction, with some prominent public figures ordering DNA tests on their siblings and children to confirm true paternity and relation.

It is on the aforementioned grounds that Hon.Odoi has called for the protection of the children, citing Article 34 of the constitution that provides for the rights of children which calls for care from two sets of parents. The first one being the parent, and second being the legally entitled person to provide and care for the children, among other provisions, which include education, health, freedom from being exploited, and social protection.

However, given the state of the economy, the bulk of these fathers are unwilling to shed blood to educate and care for someone else’s child. Men used to not bother determining whether the children were theirs because raising children was not as expensive as it is now.

DNA is made of two linked strands that wind around each other to resemble a twisted ladder—a shape known as a double helix. Each strand has a backbone made of alternating sugar (deoxyribose) and phosphate groups. Attached to each sugar is one of four bases: adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), or thymine (T).

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