25 February 2016

Initiative Launches to Reduce Tuberculosis (TB) Germ Transmissions

Submitted by Kisha Reader

‘Haybo Wena Campaign To Kick-Off TB Awareness Month’ Cape Town, 25th February, 2016 – With TB Awareness Month kicking off on Tuesday 1st of March, the Haybo Wena! (Hey You!) Use Your Elbow, initiative launches aimed at driving education in South African on the prevention of airborne TB germ transmissions by using your elbow when you cough. TB remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide and is second only to HIV/AIDS as the greatest killer with South Africa reporting one of the highest infection rates in the world. It is spread by breathing in air-borne bacteria from people with active infectious TB disease and is preventable. The Haybo Wena campaign is a project realized by Good Business and Saatchi & Saatchi SA with the support of a grant to Good Business from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. These three organisations care greatly about the health and wellbeing of the South African public.

“We needed to find a way to engage the public in a fun and light-hearted way in order to encourage them to call out others when they see someone coughing to use their elbow rather than their hands,” this according to Michael Joubert, Chairman of South African Family Health Association (The largest health NGO in SA).

Joubert explains: “Haybo Wena! (Hey You!) Use Your Elbow! is the phrase we have adopted for the initiative, TB is preventable and by getting people to change their behavior with a simple action like using their elbow opposed to their hand will assist in curbing the spread of this deadly disease and ultimately empower the public to speak out.” “TB germs can survive for up to 24-hours on hard surfaces and are spread through the air when someone who is sick with TB coughs or sneezes,” he adds. “With South Africans commuting in confined spaces and living in cramped housing facilities the disease is rife and a change in behavior through education and empowerment is key to breaking the cycle.” “The campaign is lead by traditional ‘Gogos’ who are well respected matriarchal figures, and these mamas are hoping to spread the gospel wherever they go,” Joubert says.

“The gogos have developed a catchy song and music video and with other collateral like posters, flyers and activations in various areas we have already seen how engaging this mechanic can be.” The campaign is simply encouraging communities to:  1. Uma ubona ekhwehlela, (If you see coughs) 2. Haybo Wena, (Point them out – Say, Hey You!) 3. Sebenzisa indololwane. (Use your elbow) “We are already seeing positive results and we look forward to continue building the campaign and growing the footprint of access to the information in the future,” he adds. Listen and download the song free here: https://soundcloud.com/user-351154851/haibo-wena-mix-listen-ver-4-02 and watch the music video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-nL9kD6aR4&feature=youtu.be

About TB: − Tuberculosis (TB) is a top infectious disease killer worldwide − Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that most often affect the lungs. Tuberculosis is curable and preventable. − TB is spread from person to person through the air. When people with lung TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air. A person needs to inhale only a few of these germs to become infected. − South Africa has one of the highest reported TB infection rates in the world. − TB is mainly spread by breathing in air-borne bacteria from people with active infectious TB disease. − According to the World Health Organization, tuberculosis (TB) is second only to HIV/AIDS as the greatest killer worldwide due to a single infectious agent. − TB is the leading infectious killer of youths and adults.

Published in Health and Medicine