24 April 2020
The outbreak of pandemic COVID-19 has made several nations to close down their operations. While this closure will affect the economy of the countries largely, it has already affected the education of students across the world since the start of the outbreak.
While responding to the outbreak by closing the campuses, Texila American University, Zambia, has acted proactively and switched the learning mode to online. Thus, we have facilitated our student community to stay on track of their learning process.
During the online lectures, faculty members are using virtual lab software like Microsoft’s 3D Anatomy for Medical Students, Acland’s Anatomy, Labstir, to demonstrate experiments.
Following are some of the measures we have taken to tackle this global pandemic and at the same time facilitate our students with their academics:
Students Academic Activities
- Online classes commenced on 26.03.2020
- Lab practicals and live demonstrations through video commenced on 13.04.2020
- Student co-curricular activities like debate competition commenced on 25.04.2020
- Online medical games (https://covid19.bodyinteract.com/#biapp) for students which are educative in nature commenced on 27.04.2020
- Issuance of library books commenced through online booking method and students visiting the campus for the appointed time
- In the meanwhile, all clinical rotations have been stopped till normalcy returns.
Safety Measures implemented
- COVID Monitoring Strategic Committee formed under the leadership of Dr Lawson Simapuka, Dean College of Medicine
- All employees are mandated to wear masks while inside the campus
- Thermal readings of all employees reporting for work are recorded at campus entry point
- Two sensitization workshops conducted for all employees of TAU towards precautions to be taken during this pandemic period
- Ten international webinars conducted with speaker around the world
- Dr Girdhar Gyani – Director General, Association of Healthcare Providers (India)
Topic: COVID-19 Signs and Prevention: What We Know & What We Did
- Dr Kalangwa – Assistant Director Health Promotion, Ministry of Health Zambia
Topic: COVID-19 Lock Down: How to Manage Your Relationships In Tight Quarters
- Dr Oliver Kaoma – Medical Doctor & General Secretary, Resident Doctors Association of Zambia
Topic: How to Manage Anxiety and Isolation During Quarantine
- Dr Naeem Dalal – Medical Doctor, Chairperson for Public Health Zambia
Topic: Emotional Well-being During the COVID-19 Outbreak
- Dr Dheeraj Bansal – Dean, Texila American University College of Medicine, Guyana
Topic: Know your enemy – How the virus acts and Role of Immunity
- Dr Vijayakumar Rajarathinam – Deputy Vice Chancellor, Texila American University, Zambia
Topic: Fulfil the right to education – even if schools and institutions are closed
- Mr Chibamba Kanyama, Corporate Leader, Public Speaker, Communications Specialist.
Topic: Guide for Effective Remote Working
- Ms Colleen Qvist, COMENSA CMP
Topic: Upgrading Teaching Skills needed for Remote Learning
- Brigadier General Dr Lawson F Simapuka, Dean, College of Medicine, Texila American University
Topic: World is in need for Doctors. Are you ready for the Wave?
- Ms Josephine K Chimpinde, Chief Nursing Officer, University Teaching Hospital
Topic: A Registered Nurse in Zambia today.
Apart from the above, we have written to the Ministry of General Education, Ministry of Higher education and the Association of African Universities offering our Learning Management System service free of cost to be implemented in any institution in Africa.
As Texila American University, we will not relent in our endeavor to invest in the education sector in Zambia and beyond. It is for this reason that we will utilize this time to further our plans for future expansion of our campus because we are still strong in our resolve to transform Africa’s health industry for the better. We believe that Africa has what it takes to fix the gap in health care delivery, and we count ourselves fortunate to be a catalyst to that reality.
The current Covid-19 global crisis has affected all of us. Nobody is certain about the impact it will cause on the world and Zambia as a nation. One thing for sure is that the economic impact has been felt as seen by the dwindling local exchange rate to foreign currencies. Some businesses have shut down and others have downsized in order to survive the harsh realities we are faced with as a nation and as the world at large.
In response to MOH’s directives, Texila American University has taken steps to practice recommended hygiene methods amongst its employees. Awareness Talks have been conducted and Posters placed strategically. And employees are encouraged to maintain social distance. We sincerely hope that our staff and students will see the broader perspective and understand that these measures come from a very difficult position that we find ourselves in. Together, we can fight the Corona Virus by playing our part, no matter how small.
Stay Safe, Stay Healthy.
Dr Vijayakumar Rajarathinam
Deputy Vice Chancellor