Emma Okello

Emma remembers how her studies in Gulu were interrupted in 2003 by rebels from the Lord’s Resistance Army. “At times we could run out of classrooms, hide in the bush, and miss out classes.But I had to continue with my studies.” Emma won her Ordinary Certificate of Education in 2007, her Advanced Certificate at Namugongo school in Kampala, and a degree in Community-based Rehabilitation at Kyambogo University (2013). After interning with the Gulu local government she joined GDPU in 2015 as a parent facilitator under the project “Survival and Inclusion of Disabled Children in Uganda.” In 2017/2018 Emma was a focal point in the GDPU partnership with Action on Disability and Development (ADD). She is administrator and deputy program manager for GDPU’s WASH program to install accessible toilets at primary schools. Emma loves traveling, watching movies and making new friends. Her dream is to win a scholarship to study psychology or public health in the USA

I Almost Died of COVID-19

08 Sep


Emma, her son Josh and Ugandan friends celebrate the birthday of Anna Braverman, 2021 Peace Fellow, at Anna’s hotel in Gulu.


It was such a horrible experience for me when I realized that I was COVID-19 positive.

At first I thought my blood sugar and pressure was the one disturbing me and I went to the hospital not knowing and thinking that I was a suspect of covid-19. I got back home but there was no improvement in my health. It was getting worse until I had a chat with Anna (Braverman, Peace Fellow) and described to her how I was feeling.

Anna encouraged me to get tested for corona virus and on the 18/August I was tested. The result came out positive. This brought a lot of worries and headache to myself. I felt like I would not see more days ahead of me. My life was at stake since I have not yet been vaccinated against Covid-19 .

I already had difficulty in breathing. It was on and off and could worsen in the night. I felt like I carried some heavy loads on my chest. I suffered a serious headache and coldness and got an itching throat. I lost all my senses of smelling and my appetite went off completely for about one week.

I was prescribed some medications by the doctors to help boost up my immunity and open up my chest so that I could breathe. I was told to have enough rest, drink a lot of water, sun-bathe every morning and do a lot of exercise to help my body function well. Every evening I would take a walk, jump and do skipping with the ropes.

The covid-19 hit me badly. There are many negative things that people think. I was psychologically stressed because I thought that I was going to die and leave my (son) Josh and my family. I was also afraid that my mum who is HIV-positive would also die because we all have underlying conditions.

I got all what I could do so that I get better, I ate a lot of fruits and local greens that could help me recover as soon as possible. The doctor gave me  his contact number and told me to call him whenever I had any questions. (He said that I should) if my condition got worse I should get back to the hospital immediately. I felt so bad and worried each and every moment thinking that if I am taken onto oxygen I could easily die. Most people that are put on oxygen they always die.

But all in all I was very positive about life. My mother was very caring at the same time she was also scared that the situation might get worse. I isolated myself in one of the rooms though I couldn’t avoid my son Josh who is only four years old and very stubborn. I was wearing my face mask throughout, sanitizing and washing my hands all the time.

Anna and Iain have been checking out on me all the time this makes me very strong and I feel loved and cared for. I was able to make it through despite that facts that I was very sick.

When someone tests positive the best thing to do is to have faith and be close to the hospital and to always have a positive mind.

I am looking forward to get vaccinated and urging other GDPU team members to get vaccinated. I will always continue to maintain all the standard operational procedures wherever I am.

I thank God for protecting me and still keeping me to be alive. My sincere gratitude to all the AP team and GDPU team for praying for me and standing with me during the horrible time. May God continue to bless us all and protect us from this pandemic.

Love from Ajok Emma

“I isolated myself in one on the rooms though I couldn’t avoid my son Josh who is only four years old and very stubborn.”



Posted By Emma Okello

Posted Sep 8th, 2021

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