New Delhi: On World Tuberculosis (TB) Day, Johnson & Johnson India announced the launch of #BeTheChangeForTB — a joint initiative with the Central TB Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in India, and United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Actress 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.
#BeTheChangeForTB initiative aims to increase awareness about the disease, build youth engagement and participation and improve health-seeking behaviour.
Joining Vaani Kapoor to inspire Indian youth to join the movement through a rap song is Kunal Pandagle, also known as Kaam Bhaari, a young Indian hip-hop artist and lyricist.
This initiative, is 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.
Vaani Kapoor, actor, said, “I am honoured to be a part of the ‘Be the Change for TB‘ initiative and I appeal to the youth of the country and around the world to join this movement and be changemakers by spreading verified information on treatment and encouraging people to seek early care. I am confident that together we can reduce the burden of TB in India.”
Tuberculosis is one of the oldest infectious diseases and continues to be a major health concern in India accounting for 26 percent of the world’s TB burden.
COVID-19 has further worsened the situation as several diseases, including TB, received lesser focus with majority of efforts being directed towards containing the COVID-19 pandemic.