Today on World Tuberculosis (TB) Day, Johnson & Johnson India(the Company) announced the launch of a youth-focused, digital-first initiative#BeTheChangeForTBas part of its commitment to the Corporate TB Pledge, a joint initiative with the Central TB Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in India, and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), supporting the Indian Government’s goal to end TB.Bollywood actor Vaani Kapoor has been appointed as the face of the initiative.
Youth represent a vulnerable population in the fight against TB. Despite this risk, young people are less likely to seek care due to a lack of awareness of TB symptoms, stigma associated with the disease, structural barriers in accessing complex health systems, and lack of family and social support, leading to millions going without diagnosis. As an estimated 30 percent of the total TB cases in India are in the age group of 18-30 years, this initiative aims to create a cadre of Youth Changemakerswho can act as catalysts of change to help eliminate TB from the country.
Through social media, chatbots and more, the#BeTheChangeForTB initiative aims toincrease awareness about the disease,build youth engagement and participation and improve health-seeking behaviour in support of the Government’s vision of a TB-free India. Joining Vaani Kapoor to inspire Indian youth to join the movement through a rap songis KunalPandagle, also known as KaamBhaari, a young Indian hip-hop artist and lyricist(here is the link to the launch rap song)
The#BeTheChangeForTBinitiativeaddresses the youth of India as they are best positioned to be the torchbearers in driving behavioural change amongst the public, which can significantly scale-up the fight against TB. The initiative will also bust the common misconceptions around TB and communicate the right messages around diagnosis and treatment of the disease. The communication and social mobilisation aspects of this initiative would entail various online and on-ground interventions including working with state and district health departments, National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme (NTEP) and local communities.
“Every individual and every organization has the potential to make an impact in the fight against TB,” said SarthakRanade, Managing Director at Janssen India,the Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. “We invite people everywhere to join us in our mission of reducing the burden of TB by raising awareness in your community and advocating for health-seeking behaviour. With the power of multi-sector partnerships, coming together in numbers and uniting under one common cause, we can help turn the tide against this devastating disease – once and for all.”
This initiative, in support of global efforts to help find the missing millions of people living with undiagnosed TB, are part of Johnson & Johnson’s 10-year initiative to help drive progress toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of ending this deadly, but preventable and treatable, disease by 2030.