The Young Health Programme expands into six new countries; Aims to Reach an Additional 2 Million Youth in 2021

The Young Health Programme (YHP) is launching in six new countries- Bulgaria, Colombia, Egypt, France, Slovenia, and the UK; aims to reach an additional 2 million youth globally by the end of 2021.

To kick off the new year, the Young Health Programme (YHP) is launching  in six new countries: Bulgaria, Colombia, Egypt, France, Slovenia, and the UK bringing the total number of YHP countries to 27.  The YHP aims to reach an additional 2 million youth globally by the end of 2021, adding to the over 5 million young people reached by the programme over the past ten years.

Through the YHP, AstraZeneca employees will be given opportunities to engage and volunteer with programme activities, reflecting our desire to be a Great Place to Work while at the same time supporting young people to live longer and healthier lives. Since its start in 2010, more than 7,500 AstraZeneca volunteers have contributed more than 52,000 hours towards activities with the YHP in their countries.

The Young Health Programme demonstrates our commitment to communities and embodies our corporate values. Every time I meet the young peer educators from YHP and see them in action, I am reminded of the passion and capability of young people to drive change. YHP is a platform that gives these young people a voice and the support they need to promote better health for all.

Marc Dunoyer AstraZeneca’s CFO and YHP SET Champion

The YHP UK is focused on mental health and well-being in underserved communities across the UK, and is based on a youth-centred design approach. Over the next five years, the programme aims to reach a total of 130,000 people across 5 locations.

YHP Bulgaria is working toward the prevention of tobacco use in youth and adolescents after the WHO released findings that the country has the highest rate of smoking among eleven year olds in Europe and Canada. Working in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health and regional educational institutions, YHP Bulgaria aims to promote healthy lifestyles and anti-tobacco education through school-based programmes and digital activities which can be run during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In France, the YHP will support youth in low -income communities by providing access to education and improving their ability to find work. The programme will incorporate tutoring, healthcare education, nature and culture workshops, as well as provide interview attire  for young people to be able to give interviews as they search for jobs.

YHP Slovenia is working to support the national curriculum by improving the understanding and importance of a healthy lifestyle that includes helping students explore how their bodies work,  why physical activity is necessary and to appreciate the importance of healthy eating.

Egypt and Colombia are working with YHP founding partner Plan International, to deliver a programme which addresses all five Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) related primary risk factors, and also incorporates elements of mental health and sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) into their community-based activities. These programmes train youth to be peer educators to empower them with the knowledge and skills to promote healthy lifestyles among their peers.

AstraZeneca renewed its commitment to the YHP in 2019 with a pledge of $35m to continue the programme through 2025. Working with our partners, we hope to reach a further ten million young people over the next five years, helping them to make better health choices for brighter life chances.

The Young Health Programme

AstraZeneca’s Young Health Programme (YHP) is a global programme with a unique focus on young people age 10 to 24 and prevention of the most common non-communicable diseases (NCDs): cancer, diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease and mental ill health. Delivered in partnership with Plan International and UNICEF and informed by research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, YHP aims to support the development of protective environments and empower young people to make informed choices about their health.  YHP is part of our sustainability commitment to use our capabilities to make the most meaningful impact where society needs it - health.

The Young Health Programme:  Better health choices, brighter life chances.

Photo credit: Sala Lewis, 2019
Location: Kibera, Kenya (Young Health Programme Kenya)