Minibuses and Tuberculosis

I already posted some general experiences with the minibuses, but I have begun to realize that I could probably have an entire blog dedicated to my minibus experiences.

I have wanted to write about a public health campaign that seems to involve the minibuses, but am just getting around to it now. I was going to wait until I could take a picture of the slogan that is used, but have decided to just write about it anyway. A few minibuses that I have been on, including my most recent trip, have had stickers posted inside that state: Bula Lifenstere – moea o potolohe, ho thibela ho ata hoa lefu la lefuba. I think it translates to open the windows to stop the spread of Tuberculosis (‘bula lifenstere’ is open the windows. ‘Ho thibela’ is to hinder, ‘ho ata’ is to multiply and ‘lefu la lefuba’ is TB. I just don’t know what potolohe means. Moea is wind, so maybe ‘moea o potolohe’ is fresh air). TB is a pretty big deal here. I believe Lesotho is estimated to have the fourth highest prevalence rate in the world.

From my experience so far the stickers have been a waste of paper- or whatever it is you use to make stickers; paper and the sticky ingredients I suppose. People don’t open the windows, even when it is 30 degrees outside and you have 20 people crammed into a 13 person bus. I am not sure what the reason is, but when I first arrived I was told that there is a common perception that opening the windows in vehicles actually allows bad air to enter and increases your chances of getting sick. I don’t know how true this is, but from my experiences so far I do know that Basotho people do not like to open the windows in moving vehicles. Hopefully the TB people are rethinking their sticker strategy.

September 25, 2010

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