The Ministry of Health on Friday launched a musical CD as part of their youth against alcohol and substance abuse educational campaign. The compilation CD is a result of the MoH’s collaboration with a number of local artists, among them Shanti Lo, Stompie, Bapsta and BK.
When giving a key note address at the launch, the Director of Public Health, Shenaaz al-Halabi, said that they engaged the youth because they are a more important and effective avenue through which harmful drinking patterns and substance abuse can be tackled.
“It therefore goes without saying that the youth should be mobilised and empowered to participate in changing the harmful attitudes and practices of the wider adult society,” she said.
Radio stations were also invited to the launch and encouraged to disseminate anti alcohol messages to the public. The CD will also be used during the ministry’s educational activities. The CD launch will be followed by a series of road shows, scheduled to start on January 25th until March 2nd. The road shows are scheduled for Mabutsane Sub District, Moshupa sub District, Kweneng West Sub District, Selibe Phikwe district, Tonota Sub District and North East District.
Al-Halabi urged parents, peers, self help movements and advocacy groups to join hands in the fight against alcohol abuse.
“We need advocacy to raise public awareness of the extent of alcohol related harm in the community,” she said.
In 2006, MoH embarked on an educational campaign targeting school going, out of school youth and young adults. The campaign was subsequently launched in 2009 in Pitsane.
The MoH uses three avenues in their campaign strategy, outreach activities, media campaign and road shows.
In outreach activities, ministry officials visit schools and interact with students to share information on alcohol and substance abuse. They also take advantage of other gatherings like agricultural shows, youth forums, fairs and shopping centres to put up exhibitions and provide public education.
Through the media, MoH targets a much wider audience in an interactive platform where the targeted audience can freely voice out their views and share experiences concerning issues of alcohol and substance abuse.
“Promotional materials in the form of T- shirts, caps, key rings, and water bottles carrying campaign key messages like the potential risk factors associated with alcohol consumption are also used,” said al-Halabi.
Through road shows, which are a form of edutainment, the MoH uses drama, music and other games to teach and entertain at the same time. This outreach mode has proven to be educationally appealing and entertaining to the youth.