Dr. Namiggade Advises KIU Community on Face Masks

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As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the globe, face masks are on high demand as a personal preventive measure against the spread of the virus. After Uganda confirmed its first COVID-19 case last month, the public quickly picked up on the habit of wearing face masks.

According to Dr. Shamim Namigadde, a KIU alumnus, now working for the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI ), there are only two reasons to wear face masks.

First, face masks are essential for health workers due to the front line nature of their work.

“Masks should be left for health workers. After all, they are in short supply. If the general population is taking them, they would be taking what the health workers would use when interacting with people who are suspected to be with the virus,” she said.

Second, one should wear a face mask if they are infected so as to prevent droplets from getting on to others.

It’s important to note that the World Health Organisation does not recommend the use of face masks as a preventive measure. However, they recommend that if you are going to wear one, wear it properly. Here are their guidelines.

  • Before putting on a mask, clean the hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • Cover mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
  • Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with alcohol based hand rub or soap and water.
  • Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not reuse single use masks.
  • To remove the mask: remove it from behind (do not touch the front of mask); discard immediately in a closed bin; clean hands with alcohol based hand rub or soap and water.

The KIU community is encouraged to adhere to guidelines, measures, and recommendations that have been put in place by the government and the health experts in order to stay safe.

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