Young Health Programme India (phase 4)
Adressing non-communicable disease (ND) risk factors and empowering children, parents and communities with vocational skills.
Marginalised communities in Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Assam and West Bengal.
NCDs are a growing concern for the health of young people in India. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), NCDs account for an estimated 63% of all deaths in India and there is a 23% risk of premature death between 30 and 70 years from NCDs. Cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases are the most prevalent causes of death, accounting for 27% and 11% respectively.1 The WHO suggests that more than two-thirds of premature deaths can be linked back to NCD risk factors like tobacco use, physical inactivity, or poor diet, that were first established in adolescence.2
In addition to the prevalent NCD risk-factors, the education of India’s young people has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic interrupted education for 300+ million learners in India, exacerbating the already acknowledged learning crisis by a severe learning loss and potential school dropouts.3 The learning loss is of two kinds; first, what the children should have learnt during this period, that is, in 2020-21. The school closures affect children’s academic achievement, societal engagement, as well as their physical and mental health. The most affected are often children in under-resourced areas and the youngest children who are at key developmental stages.
To address these challenges faced by NCDs and the education gap, the Young Health Programme in India is partnering with organisations to help young people improve their future health outcomes. See below for more information on each programme.
- To contribute to the improved health and wellbeing of children and young adults aged 10-24, by encouraging them to avoid NCD risk behaviours including tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, an unhealthy diet and physical inactivity.
- Improve health services and develop an enabling support system and policy environment.
- Reach over 30,000 children possible with quality education resources.
- Ensure that the children reached by the project have improved foundational learning in reading and arithmetic by 2023.
- Train 30 young adults (age 18-30) from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and provide them with employable skills as well as access to employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.
Targeting NCD risk-factors and sexual and reproductive health in Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai, we want to:
- Empower young people through building knowledge and skills on NCD prevention, enabling them to take informed decisions about their health, using peer education and community outreach.
- Mobilise communities including schools, families and community leaders on NCD prevention and the broader health of young people, to create a supportive and enabling environment for young people.
- Strengthen health services to meet the needs of young people in our target communities.
- Advocate for a policy environment that supports NCD prevention and promotes the health of young people.
To address the ongoing need for improved education in India, the Pratham programme supported by the YHP involves two education programmes: Hamara gaon (meaning “Our village”) a programme, targeting children, parents and communities with education interventions; as well as a vocational skilling pilot targeting young adults.
- The Hamara gaon programme uses Pratham’s ‘teaching at the right level’ (TaRL) approach to help children catch up on missed education and to enhance and accelerate learning for these young people.
- The vocational skilling programme, through a mentorship programme, will seek to provide young adults with key skills to help them enter the workforce. As well as learning hand-on skills for key industries, participants will learn basic English, digital literacy, financial literacy, and other life skills.
Plan International India is responsible for the overall implementation of the programmes targeting NCD risk factors in Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai.
Our education partner in Assam and West Bangal is Pratham Sweden, with Pratham India as the implementing partner. Pratham is an innovative learning organisation created to improve the quality of education in India. As one of the largest non-governmental organisations in the country, Pratham focuses on high-quality, low-cost, and replicable interventions to address gaps in the education system. Pratham has reached millions of children over 21 states and Union Territories in both rural and urban areas of India. Together with support from the YHP in India, Paratham has two primary programmes: Hamara gaon (meaning “Our village”) programme, targeting children, parents and communities with education interventions; and a vocational skilling pilot targeting young adults.
1. India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative Collaborators. Nations within a nation: variations in epidemiological transition across the states of India, 1990-2016 in the Global Burden of Disease Study. Lancet. 2017; 390(10111):2437–60.
2. World Health Organization. Global Action Plan for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases 2013–2020. 2012. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/94384/9789241506236_eng.pdf;jsessionid=52E1B3C677527E0D4DB828DDB046B5A3?sequence=1.
3. UNESCO. 2022. Global monitoring of school closures. Available here: https://en.unesco.org/covid19/educationresponse