AstraZeneca and Plan India which embarked on the Young Health Programme (YHP) phase I and II (2010-2015) have now launched phase III (2016-2020) in five more resettlement communities in New Delhi.
The third phase of the YHP aims to reach out to an additional 130,000 young boys and girls. This phase commenced with a door-to-door campaign where 1,000 peer educators and youth volunteers sensitized community members on the dangers of heat waves and precautions to take. The campaign was rolled out in the resettlement colonies of New Delhi covering Sultanpuri, Kirari Suleman Nagar, Jahangirpuri, Bawana and Holambi Khurd, reaching out to more than 20,000 households and more than one lakh individuals.
Both AZ and Plan India have seen an urgency to work on adolescent health issues in India because they comprise one-fifth of India’s total population, which around 253 million, are adolescents, in the age group 10-19 years. The mean age of onset of tobacco use is 12.3 years. Of all children that are addicted to substances such as tobacco and alcohol, nearly 69.8 per cent are from urban areas and 28 per cent currently studying in a regular school. Half of adolescents have below normal body mass index (BMI) and almost 56 per cent of adolescent girls aged 15–19 years have anaemia. Over 35 per cent of AIDS cases reported are below 25 years of age and 50 per cent of new infections are between 15 and 24 years old.
“YHP is a crucial programme for Plan India within our Country Strategic Plan 2020. Given our strategic goal to improve health and hygiene practices through active youth engagement, the YHP provides an ideal platform for long-term, sustainable impact among the communities with whom Plan India works,” said Bhagyashri Dengle, executive director, Plan India.
“YHP is an important program that reflects our company’s meaningful contribution towards improving access to healthcare. It helps build the knowledge and capacity of young people and empower them to make informed life choices,” said Sanjay Murdeshwar, managing director, AstraZeneca Pharma India Limited
“Moreover YHP reaches out to the community members and stakeholders to enhance awareness of the inter-generational effects of risk behaviour, while contributing towards a collaboration to address risks in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) especially in diabetes. We also are committed to support research programmes that help generate the evidence required to prioritize adolescent health and the prevention of NCDs,” he added.