The Banakekele Project – taking care of those in need

    For most people living in the townships of South Africa, life is often managed on a tight budget, without proper access to healthcare. Awareness around incontinence is low, yet it still affects a significant portion of the population. In 2018, TENA embarked on a mission to help people throughout the suburban townships of Johannesburg with incontinence care and education. We call it the Banakekele Project, a Zulu expression that means “to take care of them”.

    TENA team in Banakekele

    People visiting the mobile pop-up clinics.

    Becoming a part of the community

    The TENA team is proud to contribute to the tradition of Ubuntu—a South African concept on interconnectedness and compassion—and to become a part of the township communities by providing basic healthcare services in mobile pop-up clinics. These clinics offer basic and affordable care for those in need. Services offered include measuring body mass index, blood pressure, glucose levels, HIV, and other basic tests. At the same time, TENA presented a new incontinence product, as effective as those already existing in the market, but 50% more affordable.

    A caregiver demonstrates how to use different incontinence products from TENA.

    Local caregivers see the difference

    “The [TENA] product is easy to use and has created more time for me to do other things, instead of worrying about changing the diaper.” says Nomusa, a South African caregiver.  Phindile, another caregiver, notes that “the quality of the product is of better quality, lasts longer, and saves money [compared to the alternatives].”

    A view of the streets of Johannesburg bustling with people.

    Educating the communities about incontinence

    Same as anywhere else in the world, knowledge about incontinence is low and stigma around it is high. Therefore, educating the communities about incontinence is one of the main goals for the professional TENA nurses of the Banakekele Project. 
    Improving the well-being of South African communities 
    Aligning with the sustainability goal of TENA to improve the well-being of 100 million people by 2030, the Banakekele Project has reached more than 16 000 people across 100 communities, laying down deep roots among the inhabitants of South Africa’s townships.