Up to 76 per cent of youth in Kampala Metropolitan area believe they are immune to Covid-19, a research report has revealed.
A study done last year by Makerere University's Dr Florence Nansubuga in Kampala and Wakiso districts shows that while most of the youth had received enough sensitisation about the deadly disease, most believed that it could not infect them.
"We found that majority of the youth (94 per cent) had sufficient knowledge about Covid-19 while more than 76 per cent believed that they were not susceptible to the coronavirus," the report that was released yesterday at Makerere University.
The report is titled 'Wandering along the Covid-19 Corridors: Examining the Social Distancing Prevention Measure among the Restless Youth In Uganda.' A total of 298 youth participated in the study.
However, evidence shows that Covid-19 affects both young and old people although severe cases are more in the latter. An earlier study titled "Demographic Characteristics of first 54 persons with Covid-19 Infection Admitted to Hospitals in Uganda" indicates that 67 per cent were aged 0 to 39 years .
Dr Henry Kajumbula, the head of infection prevention and control on the Ministry of Health Scientific Advisory Committee, said although young people are at lower risk of becoming sick, they increase the risk of Covid-19 transmission to the vulnerable groups.
Kampala Metropolitan area continues to contribute the highest number of infections. Dr Nansubuga said the major source of complacency among young people to observing social distancing is their negative attitude.
"Among the youth, social distancing behaviour is perceived as a barrier rather than a benefit," she said.
Dr Nansubuga urged health workers and other officials involved in Covid-19 response to focus on engaging the young people to find a common ground.
"Information about Covid-19 pandemic has ignored the social practices, values and routine habits that influence the expected behaviour in the community," she said.