Building Health Champions among Youth in India for Non-Communicable Disease Prevention
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Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are a leading cause of death in India, creating a need to research strategies for preventing and recognizing these diseases. The purpose of this study is to develop and research an interactive health education program on NCDs in a rural subpopulation of Bengaluru, to build “health champions” among the youth to contribute to the prevention of NCDs in India. Students, aged 12-16, from a rural secondary school took part in a descriptive study. Participants were separated into five focus groups covering different NCDs including hypertension, diabetes mellitus, otitis media, oral cancer, and malnutrition. Each focus group was interviewed face-to-face before, during, and after all activities. Content analysis was completed using a directed approach. Findings were organized into themes that described aspects of learning that enhanced or detracted from student understanding of NCDs. The findings of this study show that creative methods have a positive impact on educating students ages 12-16 on NCDs.