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KIU Together: Asaba is Using Online Debate, Dialogues and Poetry to Combat COVID-19

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KIU, Western Campus – The World Health Organization has consistently reminded us about the importance of the dissemination of the right information to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, even coming up with a new term, infodemic, to refer to false information spread on social media and other speculative news sites.

Patrick Asaba, a third-year Diploma in Clinical Medicine student and President of Timeless Mission, a student-based organization that conducts debates, public speaking, dialogues, writing and poetry, is doing his part in fighting the “infodemic.”

Asaba organizes thematic debates, dialogues and poetry competitions on the organization’s WhatsApp group to spread the right information and sensitise and share ideas with fellow students from other universities including Makerere, Kyambogo, Uganda Christian University, Bishop Stuart University, Mbarara University of Science and Technology and Kabale University.

“We choose participants who send in their submissions in form of voice notes on WhatsApp, and these are vetted by our judges who then decide on the winners,” Asaba said.

“So far, the virtual debate has gone well because we have received submissions from people all over the country. Some of our KIU administrators like Dean of Students Western Campus, Maureen Asiimwe and PRO Collins Kakwezi have participated in our discussions as well,” he added.

Asaba is currently self-isolating at his home in Ishaka Town and he says he has had to come up with an activity timetable to get around his tight schedule.

“Apart from Timeless Mission, I also have to read my books and I try to use most of my daytime to revise and read textbooks, watch tutorials and videos,” he says.

Since he stays alone, he also has to do all the housework including cooking and cleaning by himself but he says he is now used to the hectic schedule.

To refresh his mind, Asaba watches a movie in the afternoon and does some simple exercises in the evenings, within the confines of his home.

He prepares a light supper and eats before organizing for the day’s debate, which usually kickstarts at 9:00 PM.

Asaba advised his fellow students to use this holiday effectively academically and socially by doing chores at home and repairing broken relationships with friends and family, whilst following the Ministry of Health guidelines in preventing the spread of COVID-19.



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