Rising from Uncertainty: The Tale of Community Resilience in Wakiso’s COVID-19 Vaccination Journey

by Amref Health Africa

In the heart of Wakiso District, Uganda, a palpable sense of uncertainty hung heavy in the air as COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy took hold of the community. Yet, amid the swirling shadows of doubt, a radiant beacon of hope emerged – the unwavering determination of local stakeholders to make a difference.

Spanning vast landscapes, Wakiso is Uganda’s largest district, facing an uphill battle in the fight against vaccine hesitancy. Despite prior efforts by the Ministry of Health, tangible progress remained elusive. However, in October 2022, a new chapter dawned as a formidable alliance coalesced. Makerere University School of Public Health, The Rockefeller Foundation, and Amref Health Africa joined forces with the Ministry of Health and the Wakiso District Local Government.

Their mission was clear: to empower the Village Health Teams (VHTs), unsung heroes deeply entrenched in the fabric of the community. Answering the clarion call, nearly 1,000 VHTs from Busiro East and Busiro South Health Sub-Districts embarked on a transformative journey. Through rigorous training and unwavering dedication, they armed themselves with the knowledge and tools to confront vaccine hesitancy largely fueled by misinformation.

Village Health Team Members during a project review meeting held in Nakawuka parish, Kajjansi town council, Wakiso District.

The results of their efforts were nothing short of miraculous. From January to June 2023, 115 COVID-19 vaccine outreach events ignited a wave of change across the district. With each event, a ripple of hope coursed through the community, and 19,384 souls found solace in embracing vaccination. The once-distant dream of immunization transformed into a tangible reality, with an average of 168 individuals touched by the outreach efforts.

Yet, beyond the statistics lies a narrative of unwavering resilience and collective unity. The VHTs, fueled by passion and guided by the wisdom of local leaders, emerged as beacons of light amidst the uncertainty. Their tireless endeavours bridged the chasm between doubt and belief, nurturing a climate of trust and understanding.

This is more than just a tale of vaccination; it’s a testament to the community’s indomitable spirit. In Wakiso District, the collective strength of individuals carved a path towards a brighter, healthier tomorrow. As we pause to reflect on this remarkable journey, let us be reminded that even in the darkest times, hope prevails when communities unite in solidarity and purpose.


  • Boneventure Brian Kawere, Infectious Diseases Institute, GHSP-Makerere University School of Public Health
  • Jackson Musembi, Amref Health Africa HQ -Global Health Security Unit
  • Tonny Kapsandui, Amref Health Africa in Uganda

You may also like

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More