Behavior change—getting people to increase physical activity and improve dietary intake is the prime challenge in diabetes prevention. To be effective, we must reach young children before their lifestyle habits are fully established.
Arogya World’s school-based programs are at the core of their offerings. Arogya believes they will be extremely effective in establishing a lifelong respect for exercise and healthy eating.
Diabetes Awareness and Prevention Education
Arogya World established a two-year school-based program for diabetes awareness and prevention education with compelling age-appropriate activities for middle school students (6-8 grades). This program, developed in partnership with NGO HRIDAY in India, uses influencers such as teachers and peer leaders to reach and educate 11- to 14-year-olds about diabetes and its prevention. The comprehensive program includes classroom and school-based activities, as well as outreach efforts in students’ homes and communities.
The program’s effectiveness was measured through pre- and post- comparisons of the students’ self-reported knowledge, attitudes and behavior. We are encouraged to learn that children reported a better awareness of diabetes and its prevention and had reduced their consumption of junk foods. It is estimated that our Schools Program has achieved 15% impact (15% improvement in awareness and health behaviors).
Schools Program Expansion in India
Encouraged by the excellent results, we are now aggressively scaling up our program. Our two-year school health program has been adapted to rural India and is being implemented in 25,000 secondary school children from all over India.
– Agastya International Foundation
Scaling Up with Digital Schools Program
In response to COVID, Arogya World digitized the schools program, on 7th Feb 2021 with a demo to our partners. This is a major step forward in our scale-up efforts and all results are validated with Stanford’s CARE. The digital program is now being rolled out in different states, especially to all the middle school children in Goa.