CHECK IT, CONTROL IT, STICK IT - Diabetes awareness and control with the BCom (Hons) Marketing Management students

Posted on October 20, 2021

The BCom Honours (Marketing Management) class took on their first challenge in the Strategic Marketing module on 4 August 2021. The challenge involved the UP Diabetes Research Centre, which is currently working on the Tshwane Insulin Project (TIP). The challenge was facilitated by Dr Danita van Heerden in collaboration with Prof Paul Rheeder (Project Head and Principal Investigator), Dr Patrick Ngassa Piotie (Project Manager), Dr Elize Webb (Co-Investigator), Gotabeng Mohlala (Nurse Coordinator), and Ntokozo Zulu (Field Researcher). 
The objective of working with industry partners or project clients is to enable students to work on strategies that could be implemented to solve real-life marketing-related problems. The students are exposed to the world-of-work environment that contributes to their development and simultaneously add value to our industry partners and clients. In this instance, students worked on a project that could have life-altering implications for many communities in Tshwane. 
The Tshwane Insulin Project was officially launched in September 2019 and is funded by Lilly Global Health Partnership. The TIP team approached UP’s Department of Marketing Management to create a strategy to educate individuals who are uneducated regarding diabetes prevention and control, as well as inform individuals with Type 2 diabetes about the benefits of insulin usage. The students had to develop an overall marketing strategy to educate communities that are making use of the primary health care system regarding diabetes prevention and control, and ultimately alleviate the impact of diabetes. The purpose was to inform communities about the 4Bs and 4Cs, and create awareness around the transition from oral drugs to insulin. 
On 1 September 2021, the students presented their final projects to a panel consisting of the facilitator for the module, the TIP team, and Belinda Bhoodoo, who represented Lilly Global Health Partnership. The students found the challenge valuable, as it was non-profit related and within the health sector. It thus afforded them the opportunity to think out of the box as they had to take a different approach to marketing compared to most of their other projects. In a world where most industries and businesses are technology and social media driven, the students had to consider traditional media and go back to the roots. It also created an opportunity to learn more about diabetes and insulin usage.

Prof Rheeder from the UP Diabetes Research Centre commented: “Thank you for the opportunity to work with your students. Their enthusiasm was infectious! I hope we can continue to work together.”
Below are screengrabs and edited images from the top performing teams:
Third place: The Glucose Gladiators Kival Dhavraj, Karlien Bester, Nuvesha Naidoo, Amy Njoroge, and Chantelle Grobler
Runners-up: The Sweet People Amieke Visser, Reolin Ramsammy, Rueben Jansen van Vuuren, Kate de Wet, and Kimberlee-Jane Craythorn
First place: Trust Establishers Keagen Fulton, Cameron Sathiah, Jason Engelbrecht, Chandi van Rooyen, and Hayden Jones 
Published by Nonkululeko Kubeka Moyo

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