UR staff and medical students join forces to national effort to beat Coronavirus


14th March 2020, The Ministry of Health of Rwanda has reported the country’s first case of COVID-19.The government of Rwanda has established a Rwanda’s Joint Task Force in charge of fighting COVID-19 activities. The taskforce is made up of officials and volunteers from various government and non-governments institutions. Being a leading medical teaching institution, the University of Rwanda, College of Medicine and Health Sciences staff and students are actively involved COVID-19 screening, Infection Prevention and Control, trace and track Rwandans and residents who have come into contact with cases of confirmed COVID-19 cases to avoid further spread of the coronavirus.

Olivier Nsekuye, is currently in second-year of Master’s in Epidemiology and Laboratory Management in the School of Public Health at the University of Rwanda. Olivier and some of his colleagues are part of the established Rapid Response Team where they are involved in active surveillance to enhance early detection of COVID-19.

“We conduct field investigations on confirmed cases either at home or in treatment center to find out the source of transmission and to determine a list of contacts at risk for being traced and tested” Olivier said, adding that they participate in elaboration of daily COVID-19 update reports.

Olivier Nsekuye among UR students in Rwanda’s Joint Task Force in charge of fighting COVID-19
Among other activities for the Joint Task Force, the University team also contributes to the Infection Control and Prevention (IPC) activities including preparation of quarantine and isolation areas and decontamination of confirmed cases residence areas.

Olivier concluded by pleading to the general public and students who are confined at home to abide with Government’s prevention and control measures especially by staying at home. He encouraged students to leverage available online platforms that offer free online professional courses, which can be the best time for them to explore those platforms and also revising the lessons at home.

While there is still much to learn about COVID-19, the University of Rwanda reminds people to keep on day to day measures aimed at preventing the disease. This includes regular hand washing with soap and water ; coughing into a tissue or a bent elbow, being sure to safely dispose of the tissue afterwards ; maintaining a social distancing of at least one metre ; avoiding touching the nose and mouse ; seeking medical attention early if a person develops a fever or cough, last but not least wearing recommended mask.

Eric Mugisha
PR and Community Engagement Officer