Collaborating to Help Empower a Generation of Youth to End TB
Johnson & Johnson has worked to engage young people – both highly affected and highly connected – in the fight against TB to help drive health-seeking behavior in themselves and their communities, in order to enhance early diagnosis of TB and help ensure people with TB are connected to the care and treatment they need.
What are the health needs and challenges?
Despite being preventable and curable, tuberculosis (TB) is among the world’s deadliest infectious diseases, killing 1.6 million people in 2021. Of the estimated 10 million cases of TB that year, 4 million were “missed” from diagnosis, meaning 4 million people did not know they were infected, putting their own health at risk and potentially contributing to the further spread of the disease.
Youth represent a vulnerable population in the fight against TB. An estimated 1.8 million young people between 10 and 24 years of age develop TB each year, with the highest burden occurring in Southeast Asia and Africa. TB transmission rates in this age group can be up to 20 times higher than other populations, due in part to having a wider range of personal contacts outside of the home. 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 a lack of family and social support, leading to millions going without diagnosis or treatment. It is therefore critically important to target and reach youth as part of the global effort to end TB.
Collaboration activities and how they address needs and challenges
Johnson & Johnson has worked to engage young people between the ages of 15 and 24 in high-burden countries – with the goal of helping to empower a generation of youth to end TB. The initiatives, in support of global efforts to help find the missing millions of people with undiagnosed TB, are part of Johnson & Johnson’s 10-year initiative6 to help drive progress toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of ending this deadly, but preventable and treatable, disease by 2030.
Young people aged 10-24 represent the largest generation of youth in history, with 42 percent of the global population under 25. Further, young people aged 12-24-years in Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, regions that have high TB burdens, make up nearly half of the global youth population. They’re also more connected to each other and the world than ever before. Nearly three-quarters of young people globally are online, and many are actively engaged in social and civic activities, making them particularly adept at leveraging social media and emerging technologies.
These factors make youth a critical voice and champion in the fight against TB. As part of the Company’s decades-long commitment to ending TB, in March 2022, Johnson & Johnson launched several initiatives, leveraging our unique expertise in patient insights to work in collaboration with governments and organizations to inform approaches to tackling TB.
As part of the Company’s commitment to the Corporate TB Pledge, Johnson & Johnson launched a youth-focused, digital-first campaign called Be the Change Badlaav (change in Hindi). Through social media, chatbots and more, the initiative aims to create youth “changemakers” for TB to encourage health-seeking behavior, increase awareness about the disease and build youth engagement and participation in support of the Government’s vision of a TB-free India.
The MTV Staying Alive Foundation built on the success of MTV Nishedh, a youth-focused “edutainment” campaign, which was supported by a Johnson & Johnson educational grant. As part of this initiative, sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, the MTV Staying Alive Foundation deployed Nivi’s askNivi chatbot, providing young people in India with information and resources on TB.
In Southeast Asia, Johnson & Johnson is launching TB Warriors, a concerted regional effort across Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam to engage youth in taking charge of their country’s TB trajectory by actively managing their own health and advocating for those around them in fun and engaging ways using social media, mobile games and more.
- Global Commitment
- Infectious and Parasitic Disease
SGDs the partnership contributes to
- 3.3: Communicable Diseases & NTDs
- 3.8: Achieve universal health coverage
Infectious and Parasitic Disease
- Drug-Resistant Infections (AMR)