KAMPALA – In a bid to prevent coronavirus, Makerere university has instituted a committee to fast-track the implementation of the Ministry of Health Guidance and Recommendations on preventing the virus which is a threat to the world.
Recently, the Ministry of Health issued guidelines to follow as a way to prevent COVID-19 which include;
- Avoid hand-shaking and hugging
- Avoid close contact with people who are visibly sick with flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sneeze)
- When sick with flu-like symptoms avoid going to public places, offices and public gatherings. Remain at home to avoid infecting others.
- You do not need to wear medical masks if you do not have respiratory symptoms such as cough, sneezing or running nose
- Don’t take self-medication such as antibiotics
- Do not spit in public. Find a secluded place like toilets or pit latrines in which to spit
- Delay travel to countries that currently have many patients with COVID-19. If you must travel, please follow the protective measures
- Avoid travel if you have flu-like symptoms
- Do not spread false rumors and misinformation. Always verify information from the Ministry of Health to avoid spreading false rumors which may cause unnecessary anxiety.
- Report any suspected cases to the nearest health facility or call the toll-free line on 0800-203-033 and 0800-100-066 or Mr. Atek Kagirita 0782909153, Dr. Allan Muruta-0772460297.
In a bid to contextualization and implementation of Ministry of Health guidance and recommendations, Uganda’s oldest and biggest university has appointed the committee to represent the university in ministry level deliberations on COVID-19 Preparedness
In a statement issued by the University Vice-Chancellor Barnabas Nawangwe, the committee will issue regular updates to students and staff on the global, regional and national COVID-19 situation.
The committee is also entitled to;
- Intensifying Risk Communication on COVID-19 in the University
- Creation of Provisional Isolation facilities (and standby ambulance services) at the Makerere University Hospital for any identified COVID-19 suspect
- Adherence to the Ministry of Health travel Advisory and Guidance on planning and conducting Mass Gatherings
- Identifying the need for and advising the University on the requirement for more hand-washing and disinfection facilities in the University
Makerere University is characterized by several factors that create a unique context within which the guidance and recommendations on how to prevent COVID-19 must be implemented. Among others, these include;
- Having a community of International Students, some from countries where COVID-19 has been confirmed
- Many teaching staff who frequently travel to and from several countries where COVID-19 has been confirmed
- Many visitors from countries where COVID-19 has been confirmed
- Frequent local and international conferences and workshops
- Congestion in Lecture Rooms, Libraries, Dining halls and Halls of Residence
- Frequent Mass Gatherings
On December 31, 2019, The Peoples Republic of China notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of an outbreak of a pneumonia-causing illness. The illness was later confirmed to be due to a new strain of Coronavirus, and the disease referred to as Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). On January 30, 2020, WHO declared this outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
By March 7, 2020, data from WHO indicated that globally, the number of confirmed cases were over 101,828 and over 3,483 had died. As of 7th March 2020, the outbreak had spread to more than 80 countries worldwide including Egypt, Algeria, Nigeria, Tunisia, Senegal, South Africa, Cameroon, Morocco and Togo in Africa.
The most recent update issued by the Uganda Minister of Health on 7th March 2020 indicated that there is no confirmed case of COVID-19 in Uganda.