The Meaning of Ya Tsie

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In the Setswana language, the name of the Botswana Combination Prevention Project is Ya Tsie, a term Dr. Mompati Mmalane came up with. The name comes from a proverb that roughly translates as “Teamwork bears more fruit than individual effort.”

Mmalane explains: “In the past, we used to gather locusts to eat. If you put locusts in a bag, they will fly out. To keep them in, somebody has to help you hold the bag as you gather them. There has to be somebody to help you.

“With this study we are saying, the fight against HIV is complicated—we need people to help us. And now these three partners, Harvard, CDC, and the government of Botswana, have come together to try to prevent HIV and keep it from spreading. The more hands you have to the problem, the better.”

About Martha S Henry

Martha Henry is the Director of Communications for the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health AIDS Initiative.