Helping vaccine efforts in Uganda
Post by Gloria J. “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success”. This quote by Henry Ford is what best describes the collaboration of SIA, CAP-AIDS, and Boroboro health facility in the rural parts of Uganda. SIA as a grant partner with CAP-AIDS were able to help kick off this project and make it concrete. COVID-19 has been a persistence that has backpedaled livelihoods, affected homesteads, and the economy in more ways than one. But with the help of SIA and CAP-AIDS, the people in the Northern and Eastern parts of Uganda have been able to access COVID-19 vaccinations and information about the illness. The team at CAP-AIDS Uganda, with SIA African Advisory Board Member Naomi Ayot Oyaro. They are a trusted source of information and support in their rural community. We have heard a number of misconceptions and controversies that have surrounded the COVID-19 vaccine, and the same can be said in these rural parts of Uganda. This has been one of the major challenges faced by the government and health officials in rolling out the vaccine. (Read an article about the complexity of vaccine supply and demand.) Access + Information In October, CAP-AIDS worked with Boroboro Health Center, with two major goals. One of the goals was to extend the COVID-19 vaccination services to the vulnerable populations who couldn’t afford it, and those who were not able to move up to the health facilities such as Persons with Disability (PWDs) and the elderly. The second goal was to create awareness and share information about the importance of getting vaccinated and demystify the negative perceptions being created about COVID 19 vaccination in the rural community. They targeted people in Boroboro East and West and within three parishes of Boke which is located in Tororo District, Eastern region of Uganda. Bororo Health Center is located in Lira district, the Northern region of Uganda. In support of that, CAP-AIDS offered one of their facilities, the Friesen Harvey’s Home of Hope, as one of the vaccination points. CAP-AIDS partnered with the local health clinic to provide both COVID-19 and measles, polio, and DPT vaccines to people in the area. Community + Collaboration In more ways than one, we are reminded of the sense of community and collaboration where together we can do so much. There were major accomplishments to be recognized after the rollout of the program which was carried out from the 19th to the 24th of October. 760 people were vaccinated within 3 days. This was a 375% increase in vaccinations compared to before CAP-AIDS got involved. Furthermore, CAP-AIDS supported in creating awareness and sharing the right information about the vaccine which helped demystify the negative perception about the COVID vaccine. This propelled the number of people coming to get the vaccine, showing a 50% increase, with the numbers building from 40-50 people per day to 100 people a day showing up to the facilities. Bringing vaccine doses right into the community, reducing the burden of travel time and costs. The collaboration was quite a success with more people learning and having a broader sense of safety being aware that they can be protected against one of the deadliest pandemics recorded. SIA’s mission is to fulfill God’s promise for abundant life for all the world by supporting people in following their dreams of building a self-sufficient, sustainable future for themselves, their families, and their communities. It is such a joy to be part of an effort that actualizes that.