Johnson & Johnson India Launches ‘Be The Change For TB’ Initiative Aimed to Empower Youth to End Tuberculosis


#BeTheChangeForTB is a public awareness initiative under the Corporate TB Pledge and aims to create a cadre of Youth Changemakers who can act as catalysts of change to help eliminate TB from India

Corporate TB Pledge is a joint initiative between Central TB Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and USAID

Actor Vaani Kapoor appointed as the face of the campaign

Campaign launches with a rap-song featuring artist Kaam Bhaari in a bid to motivate Indian youth to join the movement against 

Chennai, March 24, 2022: Today on World Tuberculosis (TB) Day, Johnson & Johnson
India (the Company) announced the launch of a youth-focused, digital-first initiative BeTheChangeForTB as part of its commitment to the Corporate TB Pledge, a jointinitiative 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 Changemakers who can act as
catalysts of change to help eliminate TB from the country.

Through social media, chatbots and more, the #BeTheChangeForTB initiative aims to
increase 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
song is Kunal Pandagle, also known as Kaam Bhaari, a young Indian hip-hop artist and
lyricist (here is the link to the launch rap song)

The #BeTheChangeForTB initiative addresses 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 Sarthak Ranade, Managing Director at Janssen India, the
Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. 1 “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.

Vaani Kapoor, actor, said, “The ongoing pandemic has reversed years of global progress
in tackling tuberculosis and for the first time in over a decade, TB deaths have increased.
In India itself, every single day TB claims the lives of more than 1300 people, despite
treatment being available free for all. It is imperative for all of us to come together and
make a difference. 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.”

Sharing his views, Kaam Bhaari, rap artist, shared, “I have always believed that music
has the power to change the world. I am humbled to be part of the public health
initiative, ‘Be the Change for TB’ to empower youth, create awareness and improve
health seeking behaviour. I am certain that this will create a group of changemakers that
will spread awareness around the available treatment and contribute to make India TB-

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. Despite being a
curable disease and treatment being available free of cost for all citizens under the
Government’s National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme (NTEP), more than 1300
(one thousand three hundred) Indians lose their lives every day from TB and up to
400000 (four lakh) TB patients remain unreported each year. 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.
Collaboration is essential to maximize the impact of these programs and drive new
learnings. To that end, through initiatives like the #BeTheChangeForTB’, Johnson &
Johnson is convening some of the critical players across TB, youth services and global
health to advance solutions to more efficiently engage and activate youth in the fight
against TB.

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