Involving meaningful testimonials to raise community awareness on public health issues is a widespread practice around the world. More and more often institutions and organizations rely on prominent personalities such as singers, actors and athletes to promote messages of prevention and treatment among the population.
It is precisely this approach that led to the collaboration between Doctors with Africa CUAMM and Fareed Kubanda, the Tanzanian Hiphop artist popularly known as FID Q, who was involved in some awareness-raising days on the issue of Hiv/Aids treatment and prevention, within the Test & Treat project that CUAMM implements in Shinyanga and Simiyu regions.
Very active in community-based projects, FID Q has been an ambassador for the fight against Aids since 2020 and recognizes the great opportunity as an artist to be able to help in the sensitization and education of communities on fundamental issues such as early diagnosis of the disease, correct use of medicines and the importance of continuity of treatment. The artist, flanked by the project staff and the community coordinator who has in-depth understanding of the community and its resources, visited several health centres in the districts involved in the intervention and met the students of the secondary school of Bariadi.
“I thought I knew everything about Hiv/Aids but after joining the “Test & Treat” team, I realized that I didn’t know many important things” admitted FID Q and then added: “The work done through the Test & Treat program is truly remarkable and I am happy to collaborate to mobilize and educate the community on the importance of undergoing the test, promoting an approach to fight against discrimination and social stigma linked to the disease. Hiv/Aids patients are people, not their disease “.
The reactions of community members and operators who participated in the awareness-raising activities were also very positive: “Events like these are fundamental in the community because they promote the importance of the fight against Hiv infection in order to reduce the size of the problem – some of them say – “The presence of FID Q allowed to involve many people, encouraging them to check their health status through tests and sensitizing patients on the appropriate use of antiretroviral drugs” concluded the participants. Finally, some people affected by the disease shared their experience and testimony on the importance of treatment and early diagnosis.
This is the proof of how effective the involvement of personalities from different fields that seem very distant from healthcare can be, but personalities that can make a difference in the dissemination of awareness-raising messages on fundamental issues for the health of an entire community.