Adolescent Health Awareness Program
Adolescents, at 1.54 billion, are 1/5th of the world’s population. 85% of the adolescent population live in developing nations. In India, adolescents contribute to 23% of the total population, which is 243 million adolescents. This represents a huge opportunity that can transform the social and economic fortunes of the country. To enable adolescents to fulfil their potential, substantial investments must be made in education, health, development and other areas.
The Adolescent Health Awareness Program (AHP), takes inspiration from the Rashtriya Kishore Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK). RKSK is a health program launched by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare for adolescents, in the age group of 10-19 years, which target adolescent nutrition, reproductive health and substance abuse. The key principle of this program is adolescent participation and leadership, inclusion, and gender equity. The program envisions to enable adolescents in India to realize their full potential by making informed and responsible decisions related to their health and well-being. The RKSK will comprehensively address the health needs of the 243 million adolescents of India. The key format in the way the program is implemented is community-based interventions through peer educators.
We identified five key areas in which students needed to be educated. They are:
- Sexual and Reproductive Health
- Substance Misuse
- Mental Health
- Physical Health and Well Being
District & schools chosen:
The Adolescent Health Program will be implemented in the districts of Gautam Budh Nagar in Uttar Pradesh and RamNagara in Karnataka.
Number of beneficiaries: Total of 27,000 - Year 1, 52,500 in Year 2, 82,500 in Year 3
Adolescent Health Program (UNICEF supported) successfully made an impact in 50 schools across 15 mandals in Visakhapatnam District. Students now have better access to IFA tablets, sanitary napkins, and First Aid boxes. with the government providing them as a part of the program. School Management Committees were made aware of adolescent health issues in some schools and they have partially addressed facility needs of their respective schools. Dormant facilities were made use of to conduct sessions in schools and are ready for future use. In Phase II, YFS was able to connect the schools to funding organizations and catalyzed higher government authorities to solve problems in schools. Schools are now collaborating with NGOs and other sources of funding, apart from coordinating and cooperating with teachers, village elders, parents and government officials to best resolve various problems they face.