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Govt lines up experts to undo COVID-19 misinformation

By Vision Reporter

Added 22nd May 2020 09:34 AM

ICT permanent secretary Vincent Bagiire said over the months of May and June, the experts will demystify the myths around COVID-19.

Govt lines up experts to undo COVID-19 misinformation

Dr Diana Atwine

ICT permanent secretary Vincent Bagiire said over the months of May and June, the experts will demystify the myths around COVID-19.

The Government has assembled a team of experts to help Ugandans understand issues around the Novel Corona virus and the disease COVID-19. 
 
In an effort to curb misinformation around the disease which to date is still puzzling scientists across the world, the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, with support from Germany foundation Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) have partnered with the health ministry to organise engagements with health experts who will interact with Ugandans, answering different questions about COVID-19. 
 
ICT permanent secretary Vincent Bagiire said over the months of May and June, the three partners will demystify the myths around COVID-19. 
 
Bagiire said on Thursday health experts will address pertinent issues around the science of COVID-19 and the danger of misinformation in a pandemic, on top of speaking about how to cope with anxiety during the COVID-19 crisis.
 
Citizens and the experts will interact via webinars which will be broadcast live on national television station UBC as well as partner Social Media channels. Ugandans will also be able to connect through the Zoom online application. 
 
"The aim of the partnership is to allow citizens to interact with experts and get a better context of the pandemic and government's efforts to protect them against COVID-19," Mr Bagiire said. He explained that the Government targets to allow citizens access science-based information while enabling them to engage with experts. 
 
KAS country representative in Uganda and South Sudan Mathias Kamp said the foundation found that it is paramount to partner with government to stem the pandemic which has devastated many countries across the globe. 
 
"The collaboration with the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance reflects KAS' goal to contribute to informed dialogue to curb the COVID-19 pandemic," he said. 
 
According to Dr Diana Atwine, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Health, the webinars are a timely intervention that will allow ordinary citizens to understand key issues around the management of the pandemic. 
 
"The success in continuous community engagements and to appreciate the disease is not an ordinary one. It is a global war and we must fight it together if we are to succeed," she said. 
 
Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the health ministry spokesperson, said the first Webinar at 4pm on Saturday, May 23, will have experts speaking about the science of COVID-19. 
 
Dr Atwine will be joined by World Health Organisation country representative in Uganda, Dr Yonas Tegegn, Pauline Byakika from Makerere University School of Public Health, Uganda Virus Institute Executive director Prof Pontiano Kaleebu and the director public health and environment at Kampala Capital City Authority, Dr Daniel Okello. 
 

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