JCDecaux Africa, the #1 out of home advertising company in Africa — known for its street furniture, airport, roadside digital and billboard advertising — is working with the END Fund to educate and promote responsible behaviour around COVID-19 in South Africa. The END Fund is a leading collaborative philanthropic fund dedicated to ending neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). A key educational behaviour that was promoted, was handwashing, as it is critical to effective NTD prevention as well as reducing the risk of COVID-19.
The campaign made use of 40+ billboards, for a period of three months, targeting the key large metropolitan districts, namely: Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban in South Africa. The campaign will reach 8.9 million people, with an average frequency of 16, delivering 143 million impacts or impressions. The focus was to reach diverse consumer segments, educating and promoting responsible behaviour, disseminating public health messages approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) Afro.
Through the partnership between JCDecaux Africa and the End Fund, it was possible to extend the reach and coverage for this initiative. Delivering much needed educational messaging. JCDecaux Africa is committed to being a responsible corporate citizen by helping our community and country through a host of activities and initiatives, such as these. Enabling valuable partnerships with like minded organisations, such as the End Fund, who are committed and dedicated to helping.
This cross-sector collaboration arose from both organizations being involved in the Shared Value Africa Initiative, which is a pan-African business network that enables businesses to collaborate and form partnerships across borders to drive collective social impact at scale. The Shared Value Africa Initiative enabled both JCDecaux and the END Fund to identify an innovative approach for responding to COVID-19 in South Africa.
This partnership is supported by the END Fund’s COVID-19 Response Fund, which supports targeted COVID-19 prevention, response and recovery efforts that simultaneously advance the organization’s mission to end NTDs. Handwashing is a proven practice that fulfills this dual goal. For trachoma — one of the 5 NTDs the END Fund focuses on — improved water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) conditions that facilitate handwashing can reduce the burden of the disease by 27%. Hence, it is crucial that platforms are created and strengthened for sharing information with people who otherwise may not have access to personal technology devices.
“For communities already at risk of neglected tropical diseases, the COVID-19 pandemic is an additional burden – a crisis upon a crisis. All of us at the END Fund are eager to do anything we can to limit the impact of COVID-19 on this vulnerable population. By partnering with JCDecaux to amplify proper hygiene and handwashing messaging from the World Health Organization Afro, we seek to share critical information and inform sustainable behavior change to beat both COVID-19 and NTDs.”- said Ms. Joy Ruwodo, Director of Public Affairs (Africa Region).
With underdeveloped health systems, family units often living in close quarters, and large urban centers, there is the potential for this virus to affect large portions of Africa. Therefore, promoting evidence-based messages is crucial when it comes to mitigating the effects of COVID-19. These billboards are paramount to remind people about the importance of good hygiene practices, which in turn can lead to positive long-term health-promoting behaviors.
Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of the End Fund.