Covid Update on the Mustard Seed Humanist Schools

Like all other schools in Uganda, Mustard Seed Humanist Primary and Secondary schools are enduring a 42-day closure, in an attempt by the Ugandan government to break transmission of the Delta-variant of Covid.

The schools’ Director, Moses Kamya, has just sent this update on the Covid situation:

“We are two weeks into the 42-day lockdown. Hope it won’t be extended further. We rarely move out of our homes. I travel to Kamuli once a week, after getting a permit from the authorities, to check on the school and staff. 

Many people in Kamuli are getting infected but most are responding to treatment. A few people with existing health conditions are dying, but the death rate overall remains quite low. Our askaris are out of danger.  The one who was most badly affected and had to go into intensive care is now digging his garden again. One of my cousins was also recently discharged from intensive care at Jinja hospital and he is doing well.  However, his wife remains in ICU and is quite sick.

The government wants to intensify the vaccination programme, but it is hampered by poor supplies – the ban on exports from India has made things difficulties as has the unwillingness of many rich countries to release the surplus vaccines they hold. The national drug authority has permitted a professor of Mbarara University to make and sell a drug called covidex that seems to mitigate covid-19 symptoms. Many people are also using dexamethasone, which is cheap and widely available here.

Meanwhile we continue to observe social distancing, handwashing, avoid crowds, sanitise and wear masks in public. We will hopefully overcome.

Despite the restrictions imposed by Covid we have been trying to keep work on the school sites moving forward. At the primary school we have created walkways, so that less dirt and mud are brought into the classrooms. When the rains come next month, we will plant more grass and trees to make the compound a pleasanter place for both children and teachers. When we took over the primary school last month, the toilets were in a poor state. We are making good progress on constructing new Blair toilets, with ventilated pits. The walls are made and all that remains is roofing, plastering and doors. Hopefully they will have been completed and ready for use by the end of the month. 

It will be good to get Covi-19 behind us and return to developing our Humanist Schools. The community wants us to be back, caring for their children and providing the education they need.”