Lead: Dr Gill Black Funders and Partners: Department of Political Studies at the University of the Western Cape In partnership with Afrika Tikkun and the Delft Community Health Centre Winner of the Global Stop TB Partnership InTB Advocacy Award (2012)
The project aimed to reduce stigma about TB and overcome the silence that inhibits TB prevention within a poor community in the Western Cape Province through the development of novel, socially rational participatory engagement approaches. In doing so, the project addressed the key problems of fear, discrimination and denial of persons directly affected by TB. The educational, health promoting play, ‘Bad News? Good News!’, and the Delft Youth Theatre (DYT) Group, were created through this local participatory action research project. The approach developed the capacity of youth and health care workers from Delft to aid the prevention of TB and HIV using the creative arts through a series of Research and Learning workshops. The script of ‘Bad News? Good News!’ was based entirely on the personal stories and suggestions of the workshop participants, who were trained in basic acting skills and went on to become the actors in the play. ‘Bad News? Good News!’ aims to increase awareness about TB and HIV, reduce stigma, and provide key public health messages in a context that at-risk South African communities in can relate to. The play was performed 14 times over five consecutive days in the bustling reception area of Delft Community Health Centre, in partnership with the Provincial Department of Health. ‘Bad News? Good News!’ was subsequently showcased during TB/HIV awareness activities in Delft South (Blikkiesdorp) and as part of a major health promotion event organized by Eskom (at Koeberg), demonstrating the portability of this form of community engagement, and its capacity to capture the attention of audiences diverse in language, culture and age. From audience head-counts at each performance, the total number of Delft residents directly engaged through this project was at least 2000. By reaching its goals and objectives, the Delft Youth Theatre for Health project has assisted the South African National TB Control Program in its efforts to increase the demand for TB and TB/HIV services, enhance TB case detection, improve treatment adherence, advance the prevention and treatment of MDR-TB and promote social mobilization against TB and HIV.