Learning to be a health activist
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In 2009, Professor Alan Christoffels from the South African National Bioinformatics Institute and Professor Trish Struthers from the School of Public Health decided to join forces on a multidisciplinary project aimed at developing an innovative health intervention for South African school learners from Grades 7 to 9. Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) programme from the United States, a learning resource kit, titled “How to Be a Health Activist”, was developed with the aim of engaging and educating teenagers about tuberculosis within the context of HIV, as well as dealing with issues of self-esteem, poverty and helping them make informed decisions about their lives to help mitigate some of the health risks they face. This was, however, not just another learning resource for school learners.