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Medical Students Decry Forced Vaccination As Postmortem for Deceased Colleague Delays

Boniface Osodi, the president of the Federation of Uganda Medical Students Association (FUMSA) told URN on Tuesday that he has received six letters from students since Friday calling for the reversal of the directive compelling them to take the COVID-19 jab before accessing training.
Deceased Student Rosette Kyarikunda (courtsey Photo)

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Several medical students have petitioned their leaders to stop their supervisors from compelling them to produce proof of COVID—19 vaccination before they access training. 

Boniface Osodi, the president of the Federation of Uganda Medical Students Association (FUMSA) told URN on Tuesday that he has received six letters from students since Friday calling for the reversal of the directive compelling them to take the COVID-19 jab before accessing training.

Osodi says his colleagues that belong to the more than 10,000 member federation comprising students from eleven medical schools across the country want their decision of whether or not to take the jab respected, adding that the majority of their colleagues were shaken by the sudden death of Rosette Kyarikunda, a fifth-year student at Busitema University after developing multiple complications shortly after taking the Jab in August. 

Osodi says that medical students want to first be clear on whether the complications are related to the jab or if they still want to risk and take the vaccine.  

//Cue in: “They are still ………..          

Cue out: ……. The report will be,” //  

 

He, however, says that when they put their worries to the authorities, they responded with threats instead of giving him an explanation or ray of hope on what could be leading to weeks of no-report on something that needed urgent attention considering that vaccination continues. 

For now, he says that they have requested their supervisors at their respective rotation sites to in the meantime not to force them to take the jab as a prerequisite to access training.

//Cue in:” Those that had ………..            

Cue out: ………. clarify the better,” //  

Despite the calls to expedite the report, National Drug Authority’s Abias Rwamwiri, says that they can’t be rushed as they constituted a team of experts to critically analyze this case and several tests must be done to avoid any speculations.

While he was non-committal on when the report will be out, Dr. Mukuzi Muhereza, the General Secretary of the Uganda Medical Association, said that they had received information from the regulatory body that it’s the toxicity report that was delaying them. He said the final document should be out by Wednesday.  

//Cue in: “We continue to …………..           

Cue out: ……… take a decision”. //  

Dr. Herbert Luswata who formerly led the Medical Interns, says that the students’ fears should be heard and respected noting that the vaccines are being used under an emergency arrangement, a reason as to why the World Health Organization requires them to consent.

He says putting vaccination as a condition for students to access their lecturers and supervisors means that the government is pushing people into a scientific study that they think shouldn’t be a part of.   

//Cue in:” For any type of ……             

Cue out: ……….. it is a must,” //  

But Mukuzi says it’s a catch that while students have a right to allow or refuse a vaccine they have the responsibility to protect those that they get in touch with including their lecturers and patients they attend to during their rotation.     

//Cue in:” The stand of the ……….    

Cue out: ………….. Exposed to you”. //    

For him, it’s for the general good that all health workers embrace vaccination. However, even as this is happening health workers have been generally slow at embracing vaccination that recently the Programme Manager of Immunization in the Ministry of Health Dr. Alfred Driwale had to complain about the danger they cause by staying away.

Driwale said they had received information that some doctors were moving a sabotage solidarity campaign urging their colleagues not to take the jab. Health workers were among the earliest people called to take the vaccine in March when they first arrived in the country. 

However, only 47,165 had been fully vaccinated by last week. The government had planned to vaccinate about 150,000 of them.