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Intriguing Story of a Covid-19 Survivor: A Call for Adherence to SOPs, Ending Stigma



By Paula Mary Patience

Amid the whirlwind of the fast-spreading COVID-19 pandemic, I decided to travel back home from the United Kingdom (UK), unsuspecting of what lay ahead of me.

Right from touch-down at Entebbe International Airport, I began to feel unwell with what started as a mild cough that kept intensifying by the day, while in mandatory quarantine instituted by the Government for all returnees.

It was so terrible that there were days I chose not to talk at all because anything I said would trigger this cough that lasted for several minutes, causing me grave pain in my lower abdomen, chest area and muscles.

My anxiety sank in more deeply as I started to put the pieces together. While more and more people were testing positive for the coronavirus, I feared for the worst. I knew the risk was high, considering all the contact I made on my voyage in the UK and on the trip from the UK to Uganda.

While in Isolation, on the 27th of March 2020, I was visited by Ministry of Health officials who took samples from me for the coronavirus tests. Two days later, my diagnosis was confirmed positive for the novel coronavirus.

The news that I was positive felt like a nightmare, and at that point, all I could do was cry, as if it would change anything. Worse than the disease was the stigma being displayed especially in the news and on social media that sounded like a death sentence, and I wondered if I was going to make it through.

On arrival at the hospital, the medical personnel were very receptive and offered me as much help as they could, well knowing that I would be okay, regardless. Among other medical and hygiene practices that I was advised to adopt, what stood out for me well was what everyone else I saw on social media seemed to disregard, even to-date; like wearing masks, washing hands frequently with soap and clean water, keeping physical distance and not going for social gatherings.

This was my resolve once I was out of the hospital! I must add that, while in the UK, had the people in the community and I, judiciously followed these simple guidelines, maybe -just maybe, I would not have contracted the novel coronavirus.

In my quest for healing and not repeating the wrongs of others and mine too, I learnt a lot on how the disease spreads, its symptoms and what to do to prevent spreading it to others or contracting it again after I heal from this instance of it.

On April 16th 2020, about three weeks from when I was hospitalized and received treatment to help manage the coronavirus, I was discharged from the hospital after several tests revealed that I had fought off the disease with the help of some of the medical prescriptions like face steaming, and other medicines.

Upon discharge, however, I was to self-quarantine for another fourteen days upon which, if I do not present further symptoms, I would be tested and declared COVID-19 free and allowed to get back to the population. I was excited to finally leave the hospital and isolation, but what bothered me even more was how the society was going to receive me, how people would look at me, if my old friends would still love me and if they would still associate with me like they used to before all of this.

Apart from my immediate family who received me happily, most other people did not want to associate with me, especially on a physical front despite being declared healed and free from COVID-19. I kept wishing I could turn things around. I had already accepted my truth, but the demeanor of those around kept weighing me down.

I didn’t need to be reminded I was a COVID-19 survivor, or that I was at some point on the verge of death and neither did I need to be isolated from what was once dear to me and the life I happily lived before COVID-19. Feeling not wanted nor accepted by even people you care for the most is not something I wish on anyone.

Whereas it is normal to have fear of contracting the disease, I believe it is only right that COVID-19 patients and recoverees as me are not treated with contempt or looked at as outcasts.

It calls only for a little empathy and acceptance as opposed to stigmatization. Everyone is prone to contracting the COVID-19 virus, especially if we do not follow the standard operating guidelines because it is not a respecter of persons.

My call to everyone is for a small sacrifice from each of us to fight together as one instead of stigmatizing those that suffer from the novel coronavirus. In its place, show a little positivity, rays of hope and encouragement, enthusiastic jokes if you must, as a reminder of the victory achieved against our one enemy, COVID-19.

I am on my road to full recovery now from stigmatization like millions of survivors across the globe and beseech everyone to show support and compassion to those that have been diagnosed as no one chooses to be infected. Let’s do this while keeping safe at all times. It is up to us.


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Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million



Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

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2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe




A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.

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Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News




Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.

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