By Paula Mary Patience
Amid the whirlwind of the fast-spreading COVID-19 global pandemic, I decided to travel back home from the United Kingdom (UK), unsuspecting of what lay ahead of me.
Right from touch-down at Entebbe International Airport, I begun to feel unwell with what started as a mild cough that kept intensifying by the day, while in mandatory quarantine instituted by Government for all returnees. It was so terrible that there were days I chose not to talk at all because anything I said would trigger this cough that lasted for several minutes, causing me grave pain in my lower abdomen, chest area and muscles.
My anxiety sank in more deeply as I started to put the pieces together. While more and more people were testing positive for the coronavirus, I feared for the worst. I knew the risk was high, considering all the contact I made on my voyage in the UK and on the trip from the UK to Uganda.
While in isolation, on the 27th of March 2020, I was visited by Ministry of Health officials who took samples from me for the coronavirus tests. Two days later, my diagnosis was confirmed positive for the novel coronavirus. The news that I was positive felt like a nightmare, and at that point, all I could do was cry, as if it would change anything.
Worse than the disease was the stigma being displayed especially in the news and on social media that sounded like a death sentence, and I wondered if I was going to make it through.
On arrival at the hospital, the medical personnel were very receptive and offered me as much help as they could, well knowing that I would be okay, regardless. Among other medical and hygiene practices that I was advised to adopt, what stood out for me well was what everyone else I saw on social media seemed to disregard, even to-date; like wearing masks, washing hands frequently with soap and clean water, keeping physical distance and not going for social gatherings. This was my resolve once I am out of hospital!
In my quest for healing and not repeating the wrongs of others and mine too, I learnt a lot on how the disease spreads, its symptoms and what to do to prevent spreading it to others or contracting it again after I heal from this instance of it.
On April 16th 2020, about three weeks from when I was hospitalized and received treatment to help manage the coronavirus, I was discharged from the hospital after several tests revealed that I had fought off the disease with the help of some of the medical prescriptions like face steaming, and other medicines.
Upon discharge, however, I was to self-quarantine for another fourteen days upon which, if I do not present further symptoms, I would be tested and declared COVID-19 free and allowed to get back to the population.
I was excited to finally leave the hospital and isolation, but what bothered me even more was how the society was going to receive me, how people would look at me, if my old friends would still love me and if they would still associate with me like they used to before all of this.
Apart from my immediate family who received me happily, most other people did not want to associate with me, especially on a physical front despite being declared healed and free from COVID-19.
I kept wishing I could turn things around. I had already accepted my truth, but the demeanor of those around kept weighing me down. I didn’t need to be reminded I was a COVID-19 survivor, or that I was at some point on the verge death and neither did I need to be isolated from what was once dear to me and the life I happily lived before COVID-19.
Feeling not wanted nor accepted by even people you care for the most is not something I wish on anyone. Whereas it is normal to have fear of contracting the disease, I believe it is only right that COVID-19 patients and recoverees as myself are not treated with contempt or looked at as outcasts. It calls only for a little empathy and acceptance as opposed to stigmatization.
Everyone is prone to contracting the COVID-19 virus, especially if we do not follow the standard operating guidelines because it is not a respecter of persons.
My call to everyone is for a small sacrifice from each of us to fight together as one instead of stigmatizing those that suffer from the novel corona virus. In its place, show a little positivity, rays of hope and encouragement, enthusiastic jokes if you must, as a reminder of the victory achieved against our one enemy, COVID-19.
I am on my road to full recovery now from stigmatization like millions of survivors across the globe and beseech everyone to show support and compassion to those that have been diagnosed as no one chooses to be infected. Let’s do this while keeping safe at all times. It Is Up To Us.
GoGP+ App is making it easy to reach a doctor with just a click
By Our Reporter
The spread of the Coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown and curfew in Uganda has taught us to embrace new ways of doing things. One such adoption was in the medical field where now individuals can interact with a doctor in real time without leaving the comfort of their home.
This has been made possible by the GoGP+ app which has introduced a new way to reach our doctors and health workers with just a click of a button.
With the GoGP+ app, one can reach verified medical personnel in real time through the use of video, photographs, texts, and audio.
You can now access a doctor for diagnosis, monitoring, feedback, and correct prescriptions from the comfort of your couch.
How to use the app?
There are basically 5 steps one will go through the consult a doctor:
To get started, one has to download the app from App store or Google Play store.
Then sign up by registering and log in using your email and password. User accounts are protected by email address and password.
Select the option of the doctor you need to consult with i.e. General Practitioner or a consultant/specialist from a dropdown menu.
Pay via MTN mobile money, Airtel money or visa card. The cost for consulting a General Practitioner is 15,000/= and a consultant is 30,000/=.
Finally connect with your doctor via video and text chat. The doctor may request for a lab test, if required a lab request will be sent via the user’s registered email. Both the doctor and patient have the ability to upload documents and images for both to view.
The text transcript is available during future consultations for consulting doctors to review. After the consultation with the doctor is closed, a report with a prescription is immediately sent to the patient’s email.
At the patient’s request the prescribed medicine can be sent to your location from their partner pharmacies.
All records will go to your personal medical file and can be accessed by you anytime from anywhere.
WCW: Meet Flavia Tumusiime one with a superb personality
Flavia Tumusiime is a Ugandan tv and radio host, actress, inspirational speaker and emcee .
She was born on 11th February,1989 in Kampala to Mr Enoch Tumusiime (the late) and Mrs Christine Asiimwe.
Flavia is admired by many because of her several great qualities sociable,reliable,intellectual and punctual,ambitious and cheerful.
She works on both radio and Tv daily something that has left a lot of questions on how she schedules her work.
Flavia started her television career when she was still a teenager where she hosted the teen’s show on WBS for four years before hosting the K- files. Flavia was also a presenter for big brother Africa in 2012.
In 2016, Flavia joined NTV as a news anchor and co-host of “Morning at NTV a morning show which started in 2018.
In 2006, Flavia shortly worked on HOT100 FM as a presenter before joking Capital FM where she is till date.
She also featured in Nana Kagga’s film as Kamali Tenywa which was the lead role,she participated in the Tursker Twende Kazi as a contestant from Uganda and was a judge at the Tursker project fame as a judge.
She has earned a lot of awards and recognition as best female radio personality,teen’s role model,best dressed female media personality and many others.
Flavia attended St Theresa Kisubi for her primary , she later joined Kitante high school for both O and A levels. She holds a degree in International Business from Makerere University Business School.
Tumusiime is happily married to Andrew Kabura who they have one child together , Liam Ashaba Kabura.she is also known for having been able to live in the spotlight without finding her at odds with any person.
She has earned credit for her semi-informal tone and clear pronunciation both in Luganda and English which appears natural.
We will keep you posted
How the Stanbic National Schools Championship is impacting education in Uganda
By Our Reporter
The 5th edition of the Stanbic National Schools Championship 2020 is still on-going with the theme ‘Empowering the job creators of tomorrow’. We spoke to Barbara Kasekende, the Manager Corporate Social Investment (CSI) at Stanbic Bank about the journey so far and what to expect this year.
1. The Championship has been running for the last four years now; has the program met the bank’s expectations?
It has definitely met our expectations and beyond! When we started this program our aim was to empower our young minds with a focus on Financial Literacy, Life Skills and Entrepreneurship to shape our future generation to be holistic job creators. We started with 32 schools in 2016 and today we are at 100 schools.
Over 100,000 students, 200 teachers and communities have been impacted by this project.
Over 400 businesses ideas have been generated with 50 businesses already on ground.
The aim is to create shared value in the societies and environment in which we operate by shaping the mindset and instilling a thinking out of the box mentality for both our youth and the teachers. For we believe that an empowered child/youth leads to the development and growth of this country!
2. Why have you retained the same theme for the last three years?
Uganda’s population today is about 45 million with 80% of the people under the age of 30. Of those, over 10 million are in the youth category of which only 11% make it into the employment/business world. So what happens to the rest?
As a responsible corporate citizen, we cannot stand by and watch the future generation dwindle to the current situation where unemployment is concerned. Hence the program theme of ‘Empowering the job creators of tomorrow’. The focus on entrepreneurship and life skills is to empower young people to relate to the new modern world. Uganda is our home and we can only drive sustained growth by empowering the future leaders and job creators of tomorrow.
It is also important to note that the traction towards the theme has been very positive. The programme has not only impacted the schools and students, but also the communities at large.
3. How different is the competition this year?
This year, we are increasing school participation from 72 to 100 and targeting 60,000 students up from 43,200 and training 100 teachers from the 72 that were trained last year countrywide.
We have also reached out to 100 head-teachers this year and taking them through a business and financial management program with a touch of self-development. We have realised that as we continue to skill the students and teachers we should also be doing the same for the leaders, so that they fully understand the type of student they have ( the 21 st century digital, tech saavy) and also understand that a school is a business entity that needs proper planning.
In line with our sustainability plan, we have also introduced a two-tier competition. The first-tier of the championship will be for the new business generation ideas as it has always been.
The second-tier will focus on the businesses on ground with the teams competing for more investments into their enterprises. All teams will get something for their businesses with the prizes ranging from UGX500, 000 to UGX3 million as we seek to ensure that the businesses stay grounded and functional.
In addition to the above, this year we are joining the world to battle climate change and food insecurity. Thus, in partnership with Roofings Limited, we are planting fruit trees in all the 100 schools– the minimum being 10 trees in each school however they can go up to 100. We are providing all the tree seedlings free of charge.
4. What changes have you made in light of the Covid – 19 situation?
The Championship is still going forward. Like any other programme, our activities had to be altered due to the situation. Since we cannot be in schools physically, we have had to turn to the use of digital platforms. We have been able to reach the teachers and students online as well as use other immediate avenues like our branches to encourage the schools to forward their business ideas.
For instance, we moved the boot camp to online sessions. We normally bring schools together for skilling sessions but because schools are closed, we had to improvise. We have been using the Stanbic Facebook live pages to continue skilling the students. Our skilling series are still on-going at the moment. The traction has been great and we have not only been able to skill the students but also been able to reach a much wider audience as well.
Additionally, we are using patron teachers to select the best businesses plan within their school which is submitted to compete at regional level. You will see we have also introduced business regional judges who will assess all regional business plans remotely to select the top four schools per region who will be tasked to each identify a business opportunity that can be executed during the COVID-19 lockdown period. They will be assessed by a panel of judges and awarded seed capital to execute the idea. One school per region will be selected to compete in the finals.
It is amazing how committed the schools are. They have been swift to adapting to the sudden change in execution of the programme.
5. What prizes should the winners of the championship look forward to?
We always say everyone who participates in this programme is a winner and that the focus shouldn’t be on the prizes, but on the lessons acquired through the nine months of the championship. However the teams work really hard so an incentive for appreciation is not a bad idea!
Prizes range from a fully paid trip to South Africa for the winning team to a three-day getaway at a five-star establishment for the 1 st runner up. Other prizes for the winning schools include a solar system worth UGX20 million, a UGX10 million water system, ipads, laptops, kindles, bursaries, scholastic materials and plenty more! Please note that patron teachers also benefit in all this. We value their time and efforts in helping us run this program in their respective schools.
6. In the call for entries, you referred to some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). How does the NSC tie into all this?
Our approach has been to invest in sustainable projects within the community. We believe in aligning our projects to the real issues affecting communities; thus our focus on the SDGs. That having been said, we have ensured that all our schools understand the value of National Schools Championship and its critical contribution to the SDGs.
At any rate the future of this country lies in their hands!
Under this CSI initiative, we align with eight SDGs: No Poverty, Quality Education, Clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry innovation and infrastructure, climate action and partnership. We reference the fight against poverty through the encouragement to create jobs, quality education in encouraging a wholesome curriculum in schools, clean water and sanitation through our provision of a water system for some of the winning schools, affordable and clean energy through the provision of a solar system for the winning school, decent work and economic growth through the programme itself and the creation of businesses, industry innovation and infrastructure by encouraging the schools to think beyond the classroom, climate action by playing a role in promoting renewable energy use and also planting trees to
preserve the environment.
As mentioned earlier, a fruit tree planting initiative is on-going in all the schools engaged this year. We have a target to plant over 15,000 trees across the country to tackle both climate change and food insecurity.
Lastly and most importantly, partnerships are a key factor among the SDGs for achieving positive scalable and impactful results. The National Schools Championship has evolved immensely, but for it to go to the next level, partnerships are a key imperative and you will see this year we have a number of partnerships on-board.
We started the partnership journey last year with the Mandela Group of Companies, Next Media Services, Uganda Christian University and International University of East Africa and we could not have made major strides without them. You will see that we have now on-boarded MTN, Vero Water, PWC, Roke Telkom, Century Bottling Company, Roofings, and PCB foundation.
With Stanbic Bank, IT CAN BE when we hold and guide our future generation’s to reach their full potential.
Pallaso ships in brand new ride
By BigEyeUg Team
2020 is not really a bad year for multi-talented singer Pius Mayanja alias Pallaso as majority may have suggested.
The self-proclaimed sucker free boss is having such a triumphant walk despite a few hiccups sometimes.
After surviving a serious jail sentence last month, Pallaso has decided to match his glory with a new monster ride of Volkswagen Golf brand.
The pleasing news was first babbled by his young brother, Weasel Manizo via his Instagram as he congratulated him for another milestone this year.
“Congz @pallasomusic 2020 isn’t that bad yet,” stated Weasel.
Despite narrowly surviving death for almost two times this year, Pallaso has been showered with notable success in regards to his music career.
One of his prime achievements is his recent signature under Sony Music Africa.
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