The Art of Health is a Wellcome Trust funded initiative by The Health Research Unit Zimbabwe (THRU Zim) at the Biomedical Research and Training Institute, in partnership with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the and Ardent Creative. The Art of Health uses the creative arts (eg. music, drama, art and dance) to effectively engage young people on matters pertaining to their health and well-being.
Young people are given the tools, resources and mentorship needed to produce health-themed projects, where all areas of health are explored including; mental, physical, emotional, social and financial well-being. Subjects specific to the region such as the influence of culture on a young person’s perception of health are also tackled.
It is important for young people to make informed decisions surrounding their health. In light of young peoples’ affinity towards the creative arts, packaging ‘health’ in music for example would make the topic less daunting and more ‘cool’, ‘fun’ and ‘relatable’.
In 2020 the Art of health was piloted as a health-themed competition in three Provinces in Zimbabwe (Harare, Mashonaland East and Bulawayo). In 2021 it was packaged as a nation-wide competition which received 1 153 entries, and in 2022 it was showcased as a stage play and art exhibition.