Unvaccinated students turned away as tertiary institutions reopen

Unvaccinated students turned away as tertiary institutions reopen
A security officer checks a students’ vaccination card at Kyambogo University

Kampala, Uganda | URN | Tertiary institutions in Uganda on Monday 1, November 2021 turned away COVID-19 unvaccinated students.

The institutions opened their gates to students after months of closure following the outbreak of COVID-19.

At Kyambogo University, as early as 7:00am, students and staff started arriving at the different gates of the institution, only to be told that only those with university identification cards and COVID-19 vaccination cards will access the university premises.

“No vaccination cards, no entering, whether you are a staff or a student. If you don’t have the documents please better go back home,” a Local Defence Unit (LDU) personnel announced.

A female university security officer said that they had received directives from university management that only vaccinated staff and students should access the university.

Dorothy Grace Wotalira, a student at the university was disappointed when she was turned away. She said that she had travelled from Bugiri district and was expecting to be vaccinated at the university.

Many students pleaded with the security guards to allow them to go to the university medical centre for vaccination.

Patricia Amulo, a student pursuing Bachelors of Arts with Education, said she had always gone to the vaccination centre at Kyambogo University, but she could not be vaccinated due to the high number of students.

Many other students complained that the university had not made any formal communication indicating that non-vaccinated students will not access the campus.

Students who were vaccinated but did not have stamped cards were also denied access.

Besides vaccination cards, students who lacked university identification cards were also turned away.

Alice Nanyondo, a first-year student says it’s unfair for the university to lock her out, yet they had not yet issued her with the identity card.

Prof. Elly Katunguka, the Kyambogo University Vice-Chancellor says that management has not yet issued a directive stopping non-vaccinated students from accessing the university.

Prof. Katunguka says they expected the security guards to allow the non-vaccinated students to access the university’s medical centre to receive the jab. He however noted that the matter will be addressed.

Read Also: Vaccinated Ugandans struggling to access online COVID-19 certificates

At Lugogo Vocational Training Institution, non-vaccinated staff and students were also denied access.

Marvin Kitone, a motor vehicle mechanical student said that he was disappointed when he was turned away and yet the institute did not inform them of the guidelines.

Wilson Tumuhamye, the acting principal says they have decided to follow the presidential directive of getting staff and learners vaccinated. He says that every student and staff not vaccinated will not access the institute without a vaccination card.

At Uganda Christian University-UCU, unvaccinated students were led to the vaccination center established at Nkoyoyo hall within the campus.

The University’s Public Relations Officer Frank Obonyo, said that more than 4,000 students are expected to report this week for their first semester.

At Islamic University in Uganda, there was low turn-up of students. Although the University authorities have put in place all facilities to welcome back students, the public relations officer Rehema Kantono says they are not expecting many students because majority of them are still studying online.