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.
Our school-based programs are at the core of our offerings. We believe they will be extremely effective in establishing lifelong respect for exercise and healthy eating.
Diabetes Awareness and Prevention Education
We established a two-year school-based program for diabetes awareness and prevention education with compelling age-appropriate activities for 11-14-year-olds (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.
We measure the program’s effectiveness through pre- and post- comparisons of the students’ self-reported knowledge, attitudes and behavior and are encouraged to learn that children reported a better awareness of diabetes and its prevention and had reduced their consumption of junk foods. We estimate that our Schools Program has achieved a 15% impact (15% improvement in awareness and health behaviors).
Read more about our results-based impact on Healthy Schools:
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 our reach, on a cumulative basis, is 500,000 middle school children from all over the vast country. Major funding for this program is from RIST.
Our Healthy Schools program is currently in the following Indian states:
- Andhra Pradesh
- Tamil Nadu
- Uttar Pradesh
- Madhya Pradesh
- West Bengal
Our partners include Hriday, Agastya International Foundation, Ashoka, SHARP, SRU and CINI.
Scaling up with digital schools program
In response to COVID, Arogya World digitized the schools program with Zobble. We kicked off this program on 17th Feb 2021 with a demo to our partners. This is a major step forward in our scale-up efforts. Arogya’s digitized school health program, is now available in four languages – English, Hindi, Marathi, and Kannada – and is available on the government platform Diksha. A rapid effectiveness pilot with our web app showed promising results. The data analysis is being automated with partner Quess. We are validating all results with Stanford’s CARE. We are rolling out this program – the first digital adolescent health program of its kind in India, working with state governments, in the entire state of Goa, Thane district in Maharashtra, and Banda District (UP).
Key Arogya team members involved include Nandini Ganesh, Raghuram S, Dr Smriti Pahwa, Ashwini Thakker, Dr Sandhya Ramalingam, Dr Nidhi Jaswal, Meeta Walavalkar and Dr Nalini Saligram.