UCU’s Muchwa develops “COVID-Guide” to assist in the fight of COVID-19

By Pauline Nyangoma
In the search for information about the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, many people find it hard to get COVID-19 related services and filtering the truth from fake news.

It is with that background that Christopher Muchwa, a 23-year-old Bachelor of Law student at Uganda Christian University (UCU) decided to give a hand. Muchwa a tech enthusiast, who has never formally been to a technology or computer class used You Tube tutorials and his professional friends to develop a COVID-App.

“The COVID-App can help to sieve information and contacts of the personnel overseeing the fight against the virus,” he says. “I started working on the App in February following a conversation with an IT professional in Wuhan, China, who was challenged to survive under a lockdown.”

The App has a chat box where you enter the code word for specific information. “To get all the codes, one enters “Help” in case they are stuck. It has the contacts of all RDCs involved in implementing the presidential measures against the virus. The users need to enter their district to get the contact information of their RDCs,” he says.

The App also offers safety tips and symptoms of Covid-19 and options of online shopping and market information during the pandemic. “I have been following the presidential directives critically and after looking at how the other side of the world (West) is operating, I realised that people in most of those countries are dying not because of lack of money, but because of limited access to information so I decided to intervene,” Muchwa said.

According to the Dean, Law Faculty, Dr Roselyn Karugonjo-Segawa, Muchwa is selfless and uses technology to improve lives. He helped the UCU law faculty develop the Law App to increase access to legal resources.

“I am happy and proud to see that he has moved to health. He has a skill-set that is definitely necessary now and in the future and our continued support is key to harnessing this skill.” Karugonjo says.

This is not the first time Muchwa is developing an App.  Among the others, he has made is UCU Law App currently used by students to get lecture notice if they were unable to attend class.  He says losing his parents in 2017 and 2018 respectively was a turning point in his life that pushed him into coming up with different IT innovations.

However much, the App is not yet up on Google Play Store, Muchwa says he is working hard to get the wide reach of social media to make it available for use soon.

“The App also has contacts of MOH, the National Task Force and the Police among others. It offers multiple options of reaching out to people like voice calls, emails and short messaging services,” he says.  “And it eliminates the hustle of browsing through multiple sites to find information. I am also adding links of the World Health Organization (WHO) if someone wants to access updates…..I am trying to see how best we can put all this into one App, like one handbook to avoid fake news and panic,” Muchwa says.

According to the Manager, Communication and Marketing UCU, Walter Washika, authentic information is a necessity for growth, especially in this era of social media information influx where gatekeepers are bypassed.

“As a forward thinking, technology conscious University; such student innovations are an indicator of a UCU product seasoned for the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR)” Washika says.

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