KIU, Western Campus – The Finance Minister in the KIU Western Campus Guild Union, Francis Okello has warned his fellow students about exposing themselves to drugs and HIV infection during the current lockdown.
Okello, a fourth-year student of Clinical Medicine and Community Health who doubles as the MP School of Allied Health Sciences (SAHS), says that these two problems can hinder students from completing their studies.
“Please beware that besides COVID-19, there are other infections within the community like HIV and unpleasant behavior like drinking alcohol and doing drugs, which are promoted by peer groups,” Okello says.
“All these, together with other factors, can hinder you from completing your studies when by God’s grace the pandemic ceases and we return to normality,” he adds.
Okello says he went back to his home district of Lira where he is doing practice in clinics within the neighbourhood and aiding in home-based management of COVID-19 patients as well as doing sensitization about the SOPs within his community.
Like any other student, Okello is concerned about the lockdown and when the spread of the virus can reduce and educational institutions are reopened so that he can resume his studies.
“You can imagine being admitted for a course of four and a half years but you end up doing it for seven years. It is really unrealistic,” he reasons.
“The lockdown has greatly affected people’s expectations, not only me and other students but parents, lecturers, sponsors and the entire academic set-up in the country as well,” he adds.
However, he maintains hope that this whole situation will come to an end, drawing comparisons with the more devastating Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918.
“This is not the first pandemic that has happened to humanity. There was the Spanish Flu of 1918, which infected more than 500 million people,”
“After all of this, we shall go back and finish our courses no matter how long it takes, and life shall continue from there,” Okello says.
He advises his fellow students to desist from engaging in drugs, irresponsible sexual relationships and also follow the Standard Operating procedures put in place by the Ministry of Health.