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Tuberculosis: Raising Awareness Through Games

New Delhi: “India is the highest TB burden country globally, accounting for one fifth of the global incidence and 2/3rd of the cases in south East Asia. Nearly 40% of the Indian population is infected with the TB bacillus”(TB India 2009).According to WHO,” the four countries that had the largest number of estimated cases of MDR-TB(Multi-drug resistant tuberculosis) in absolute numbers during 2008 were China (100000) India (99,000) Russia (38,000) and South Africa” (13,000).

The historical game “Snakes and Ladders”  played by students in the schools

An unexpected findings from the exploratory survey that identifies lack of awareness, poverty and social taboo are the most important tuberculosis risk factors. Therefore, we demonstrated the snake and ladder game idea for school students. The many thousand years old game “snakes and ladders” is further developed for the education on the symptoms, treatment and prevention of the bacterial infectious tuberculosis (TB) disease and now comes as an active game nationwide in schools Commitment. We conducted the sensitization meeting with a sole objective of spreading awareness on various aspects of TB. The meeting saw participation of 80 School Children. It was a good interactive session with active participation from the students and teachers. We successfully played the game with  the significant purpose of spreading the awareness to all the students about the TB symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. “One by one, students came to the snakes and ladders floor mat and played the game. Every time they stepped up on the ladders by spinning and throwing the dice, then the correct information written on TB read loudly by them and when they reached on the mouth of the snake, then they read the information written on the myths about TB, said loudly that it’s a myth and came down to the tail of the snake and were given a factual message on TB and then new student used to replace them” said by Mr. Sanjay.

The educational advisors of the DAHW German Leprosy and Tuberculosis Relief e. V. Maria Hisch and Michael Röhm successfully replicated the German version of the game “Snakes and Ladders” for education about tuberculosis in schools and around in Würzburg. Photo: Larissa Brodziak / DAHW

ll students and teachers appreciated this innovative way of spreading awareness on TB through the game and learned about the myths and facts of the disease. With the positive feedback, 88% liked the concept of the game.

When it comes to the biggest worldwide killer that kills through a single infectious agent, Tuberculosis comes second only to HIV/AIDS, says the World Health Organization. Despite the gravity of situation being such, there’s still on much hearsay about TB in India that it gets hards to separate truth from friction. For example, still, people believe that TB belongs to poor people, it is a lung’s disease or it is incurable! Hence, it is a imperative step to dispel the most common myth about Tuberculosis through this game.

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