Nairobi youths score a goal against TB and HIV

17 July 2010 - Nairobi, Kenya - The NGO Vijana Amani Pamoja hosted the 2nd annual Kick N Test voluntary HIV counselling and testing and TB screening soccer tournament today. Sixteen teams of boys and girls aged 13 to 18 from the Eastland neighbourhood of Nairobi participated in this unique street football tournament with a better-health theme.

The teams could get points by winning or drawing a match -- or by participating in awareness raising activities on HIV and TB and visiting the voluntary HIV counselling and testing and TB screening tents. Everyone who was tested left with a certificate plus a bonus point for his or her team. There was a good incentive to get these points - they decided matches that ended in a tie. Out of 220 participants, 156 youths received HIV testing and TB screening.

One player from each age group was chosen as Soccer Champion, based on performance in the tournament. Another was selected as Spirit Champion, based on enthusiasm during the HIV- and TB-awareness-raising activities.

During intermissions and half-time participants were sensitized about the strong connection between TB and HIV. Participants completed a test before these activities to assess how much they already knew about TB/HIV.

Topics covered by the awareness-raising sessions included the definition of TB, how it is transmitted, TB signs and symptoms, TB /HIV co-infection and prevention and control of TB. Participants completed a second test after these activities which showed they had learned a great deal about both diseases. As a parting gift, all participants received a copy of Luis Figo and the World Tuberculosis Cup, an educational comic book about TB published by the Stop TB Partnership.