The Central TB Division (CTD), along with The Union and World Vision India (WVI), has launched a nationwide campaign under project Axshya to create awareness about tuberculosis and its symptoms.
The new campaign creates a link between two weeks of cough and tuberculosis, and urges people to test sputum at the Designated Microscopy Centre (DMC) or Bulgam Jaanch Kendra.
Created by BBC World Service Trust (BBCWST) in partnership with PSI and The Union (International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease), the campaign features a fictitious superhero, Bulgam Bhai. The superhero sits in his den with all necessary gadgets that help to detect cases of coughs that have lasted for more than two weeks. On hearing anyone coughing, he introduces himself as 'myself Bulgam Bhai' and urges people with prolonged cough symptoms to go to the Bulgam Jaanch Kendra and get their sputum checked.
S Shankar Narayanan, director, programmes, PSI, explains, "The idea is to focus on two core factors - low knowledge level and changing the present perception of low risk to how dangerous the actual situation can be."
The campaign, created in four languages - Hindi, Kannada, Marathi and Punjabi - will continue till the end of this month.
The television commercial is currently on air on various Hindi general entertainment and news channels, apart from several regional channels including Zee Marathi, Zee Talkies, STAR Pravah, PTC Punjabi, PTC Chakde, PTC News, 9X Tashan, ETC Punjabi, Udaya TV, Suvarna TV and Kasturi TV. Also, radio is being used through the launch of the Bulgam Bhai radio show, which comprises of 15 interstitials of two minutes each and six episodes of 15 minutes each.
The campaign will also use outdoor media, along with promotion through traditional media, street theatre performances, a video van activity and an inter-personal tool-kit containing games and puzzles, which will be used by health workers to create awareness.