A whopping 41 million or 71% of deaths occur due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) globally. In India, NCDs account for 63% of deaths. Young Health Programme (YHP) is one of the few initiatives that focus on the burgeoning problem of early deaths due to chronic ailments such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, respiratory diseases and diabetes. Besides NCDs, YHP also works to raise awareness about adolescent health issues, such as sexual and reproductive health and rights. YHP sensitises youth through sessions at schools and youth-led Health Information Centres (HICs). YHP is one of the first projects to have commissioned community scorecard exercises to rate government health facilities and establish monthly inter-generational dialogues.
HICs are a critical element in grooming young people for taking the lead in spreading knowledge and awareness within their communities A recent win for YHP has been extending their interventions at schools for 226 teachers and 4,500 students. A successful signature campaign led by children lobbied with the municipal bodies for the development of an open gym in a community park. The YHP team sensitised 288 AWWs, ASHAs, and Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs) on how to limit risk behaviours among youth and promote adolescent-friendly health services at primary health centres.
The team also routinely organises nutrition awareness camps at Anganwadis and HICs to sensitise young people and encourage families to adopt healthy eating habits keeping various variables into consideration such as cultural acceptability, seasonality and low cost. In addition, sports sessions are organised within the communities to combat inactive lifestyles. The project, due to end in 2020, has achieved sustainability by training PEs to take the helm within their communities. Enrolment and active leadership in HICs and youth clubs where they plan and facilitate sessions to motivate the PEs. These champions of change have also been trained in street theatre over four years, thus creating a means of livelihood for their theatre society and adding to the sustainability of YHP.
- 52,597 young people (31,759 girls) and 17,646 community members reached with information on promoting healthy behaviour.
- 7,403 young people (3,697 girls) registered across Health Information Centres
- 3 government-run health centres transformed into adolescent-friendly health centres
- 89 health workers sensitised on Rashtriya Kishori Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK)