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The Ministry of Health and Twaweza along with Veloce and 12 artists from across Uganda are launching Gemwa, a song designed to encourage people to get vaccinated.

Gemwa was produced as a collaboration between Ministry of Health, Twaweza and Uganda Musicians Association. All the partners hope the song will encourage Ugandans to get vaccinated.

The 12 artists in the song are: David Lutalo, Daddy Andre, Phina Masanyalaze, Edger, Oscar, Junior Pro, Rachel, Wintex, Yaled Kaluya, Daphine, Llama, Evy Treyz.

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In December 2020 – January 2021, Twaweza collected representative data from three districts identified as at high-risk for Covid-19 on citizens views and experiences of Covid-19.

These data inform the song Gemwa (loosely translated as vaccinate) which has been endorsed by the Ministry of Health and produced by Velocce.

In particular, the data showed that between one and three out of ten residents in the three districts were still unwilling to be vaccinated because they did not trust the vaccines. When asked what might help them to overcome their uncertainty, citizens pointed to being made aware of the benefits of the vaccine. So Gemwa emphasizes the positive side of being vaccinated.

The song also speaks to the importance of vaccination for the economy to revive; economic concerns have been significant for Ugandans throughout the pandemic.

The data were collected from 2,121 respondents (807 in Kampala, 654 in Kyotera and 660 in Tororo). Key findings include: A majority of residents in Kyotera (78%) and Tororo (86%) are aware of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in their district. Half of Kampala residents (50%) are aware of confirmed cases.

One out of 5 Kampala and Kyotera households, and 1 in 4 Tororo households has had at least one Coronavirus test. Residents of the three districts are more likely than before to wear a mask, but less likely to stay at home

Most residents across the three districts (Kampala 70%, Kyotera 59%, Tororo 58%) think there has been an increase in Covid-19 transmission. Most residents in the three districts (Kampala 84%, Kyotera 69%, Tororo 74%) support the re-opening of schools.

Most residents (Kampala 69%, Kyotera 60%, Tororo 64%) say churches are adhering to Covid-19 guidelines, but social gatherings are not. Most residents, 9 out of 10 in Tororo (89%), 8 out of 10 in Kyotera (83%) and 7 out of 10 in Kampala (74%), are willing to be vaccinated against the Coronavirus

Violet Alinda, Twaweza Uganda Country Lead and Director of Voice and Participation, said, “We are excited to have been part of turning data into song to try to overcome vaccine hesitancy. Tackling people’s real fears and motivations through artistic expression can be a powerful way to address them.”

Dr. Richard Kabanda, Ag Commissioner, Ministry of Health said, “The Government of Uganda is aware of the power of music and artists as messengers. We join hands with these popular artists to encourage all Ugandans to come out and get vaccinated.”

Andrew Ojambo aka Daddy Andre said: “I am always happy to use my platform and voice in service of my country. I got vaccinated to protect my loved ones, and myself, and to enable me to go back to work safely so we can kickstart the economy. I urge all my fellow Ugandans to do the same.”