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The critical role of medical students in beating COVID-19 at the Grassroots

Involving medical students who has already undergone their first three years studying infectious diseases, to influence awareness campaigns.

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One of the first communications from CDC: The Situation Summary. It gave me an idea of helping beat Corona virus at the Grassroots by extrapolating what they advised and using it to fit our situation in Bushenyi, Uganda.

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https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/summary.html

Did this resource motivate you to change your behaviors?

  • Yes

In what ways did you change your behaviors as a result of this resource?

I became more vigilant about my personal hygiene and that of my neighbors. I avoided contact with others and explained them why, asking them to do the same. By just word of mouth alone, this information moved distances.

Did you share this information with your network?

  • Yes

In what ways did you share this information?

In the rural setting, the best way to share the information was mainly by word of mouth. I first briefed  all my medical students about COVID-19. I then gathered a few interested volunterees, and using bicycles, we moved through the Bushenyi communities sensitising them of the recent outbreak and how to stop it from spreading. Whenever we found people gathering like a church function, wedding or burial ceremony we would interject and deliver our message. 

Where are you getting information around COVID-19?

  • Social Media
  • WHO (World Health Organization)
  • Word of Mouth
  • Center for Diseases Control and Prevention website

What information do you feel you are missing about COVID-19?

How to effectively impart behavioral change among certain rural cultures, e.g. preparing the dead for burial, sleeping with the dead before burial, and the cleansing rituals in certain tribes. 

What populations or personas are not currently being addressed with today’s COVID-19 information?

The Grassroots population have not been reached. They are completely oblivious of what is going on currently. They have never heard of Corona virus and no one has taken the initiative to drive this through.

What is your current profession?

Lecturer at a medical University

In what city are you located?

Bushenyi town

In what country are you located?

Uganda

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