By Stephen Charles Olet
A lot has been said about Corona Virus and COVID-19 but the truth remains that Corona virus is still a mystery virus and so is COVID-19. A lot of facts have not yet been discovered about the killer virus especially among the Africans as few cases and fewer deaths have been registered in Africa compared to other continent and with research even the cases can be minimized further. There is a saying in my language which goes “Two ikwia tyeki yen nono.” Literally meaning that a disease which one does not know much about finishes medicine without the disease getting cured.
Most of the guidelines for the prevention and management of COVID-19 cases were set basing on researches done in outside countries among people of other races other than blacks but there are very high chances that the virus could evolve and exhibit new behaviors among the blacks since Africa has different climatic and geographical conditions compared to China which is the epicenter of the killer Corona virus thereby creating the need for scientific and evidence based researches in context of the black ethnicity.
According to Western Sydney University, research is defined as the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies and understandings. In this case, new concepts and understandings will be created about Corona virus and the COVID-19 among the African population. The entire process of research could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it leads to new and creative outcomes.
There are tons of contradicting information about COVID-19 on both print and electronic media but none is from scientifically sound research carried out in any African country or Uganda in particular though the information might be from researches done elsewhere. Some reports say that Corona cannot spread in warm weather countries whereas the World Health Organization says the Corona virus can be transmitted in all areas, including areas with hot and humid weather.
On the other hand, some scientists say masks are mandatory for healthy people meanwhile World Health Organization recommends masks for healthy people who are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCov infection and for people who are coughing or sneezing. Conducting research about COVID-19 among Africans could lead to development of new guidelines for the prevention and management of COVID-19 which are more specific for the African population other than the general guidelines.
The government has done a great thing to allocate some good amount of money for the prevention and management of the contagion but it would be of much importance if the government had also released some money for doing research about the disease. I have read a number of research articles about COVID-19 published in peer review journals by white scientists and doctors but I have not come across any article authored by an African or a Ugandan Scientist.
It is at this time of predicament when we need our university professors, doctors, research scientists, epidemiologists, biostatisticians, medical specialists and other health professionals to come out and join hands to embark on serious research to provide information about the pathogenesis of the mysterious disease which has claimed lives of people around the globe and has infected a good number of Africans. You never know the cure of COVID-19 could be discovered by a Ugandan scientist.
It’s of no doubt that Uganda has very brilliant professors, health professionals and scientists who only need to be availed with the resources by the government and new insights could be gained about this deadly Trojan horse which has already started imposing a heavy burden on the country’s economy. I have confidence in Ugandan scientists that through their researches, useful information can be availed to the Ugandan health workers which can in turn make the professionals to give the Corona virus a bloody nose.
Olet Stephen Charles
The writer is a Medical Professional, an Epidemiologist and a Biostatistician
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