A local student mental health nurse is on a mission to encourage others to get their seasonal flu jab with his ‘flu jab rap’ and music video.
Kuda Chifamba, currently studying in his second year at University of Surrey, is training to become a mental health nurse, and as part of his course is completing work placements with Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s services at Langley Green Hospital and 78 Crawley Road.
Sussex Partnership provides mental health and learning disability services across the South East and recently launched its annual flu jab campaign to encourage staff across the organisation to get their vaccinations. In a bid to help, Kuda offered to write a rap to help promote the initiative.
The flu jab rap was launched on social media on 31 October and since then over 70% of staff across the Trust have had their flu vaccination, almost double the amount pre-launch.
Kuda said: “I wanted to help raise awareness of the benefits of being vaccinated and being protected against the flu, for our staff and also the patients and families that we work with.
“Drawing from personal experience, I understand the anxiety that some people feel about getting jabs and the possible side effects afterwards. I find that music provides comfort and I really hope that the song will encourage more people to get their flu jab, give a positive outlook and highlight the long term benefits of being vaccinated against the flu.”
Kuda began writing melodies and songs at a young age whilst growing up in Zimbabwe, and after moving to the UK at the age of 15, Kuda recorded his first music track in a recording studio at school. Since then he has been trying to find new ways to incorporate music with his passion for helping people who are experiencing mental health difficulties:
“Music is a really powerful element that uplifts and unites people, and when I think of some of the patients I've worked with so far, music has been one thing I've constantly implemented in my practice.
“I'll never forget how rewarding those moments were when I was able to use music to help people in times of distress, and being able to offer it as a helpful coping mechanism for them.
“I have always had a huge amount of love and support from my family and friends, who motivate and inspire me and I hope that one day I am able to discover new ways to help even more people and inspire others in the future to become mental health nurses too.”
As well as being the writer, co-producer and vocalist for the flu jab rap itself, Kuda also stars in the full length music video which was filmed on location in Hove.