Main Campus - To create awareness
on the novel COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, students of Kampala International
University (KIU) have joined the Media Challenge Initiative (MCI) in spreading
the gospel of precautionary measures against the Coronavirus.
The students who are also
part of the Media Challenge Fellowship Program, together with other learners
from different Universities, are translating and recording information about
the deadly virus in various dialects of their origin.
According to Kakembo Ali, a
radio expert at the MCI, this is one way they think that can help in
sensitizing and reducing stigma amongst people about the pandemic. It also
trains the students to share the right information as future journalists.
“As people who deal with
information, we cannot just look-on as fake news is spreading within our
communities. We need to make sure that people get the right information
translated into their local languages. That is why we chose to partner with
University students and MCI Fellowship Alumni, to record information that
sensitizes the general public on what to do and not to do inline with
directives from the Ministry of Health,” explained Kakembo.
Kakembo also calls upon University
students who are now out for the one-month holiday, to help in sharing the
right information via their social media platforms.
Why KIU Students Joined the
Martha Kahunde, a KIU
student and a Media Challenge fellow, says that most of the people in her
community have been sharing wrong information about the virus because there is
an information gap in understanding the English language and translating it to
the mother tongue.
Kahunde translated the
message from the Ministry of Health from English to Runyoro, which will be
played on an online radio for MCI and also the local radio stations in her
community of origin.
Andrew Onen, a fellow who
translated Coronavirus information into Luo says that, “People are so worried
and the pandemic is real. So, we need to protect the people who cannot get
first-hand information by translating this message from the Ministry into our
Onen, a first-year student
of the Diploma in Mass Communication, advises those in different WhatsApp
groups to record and share information through the groups in the easiest and
Noah Omuya, a Media
Challenge Fellowship Alumnus from KIU says that, “Personally, I do not have
enough money to donate to those affected by the virus. But with this platform,
MCI has given to me as a student; I am proud that I have been able to tell a
message in a simplified manner for the local community to understand.”
Omuya translated the
message into Ateso, the language spoken by the Iteso in the North Eastern part
The Ministry of Health in
Uganda has so far confirmed one case of Coronavirus, and the authorities
introduced a number of measures to limit the spread of the virus including;
closure of Entebbe International Airport and closure of schools, and also
suspended public gatherings whilst advising flue patients to stay home, so that
they can contain the spread of the virus.
The Ministry also advises
the general public to report any suspected to the nearest health facility or
call on the toll-free lines on 0800-203-033 and 0800-100-066.