Cascade approach of reaching communities for adolescents through school students and community stakeholders in rural and underserved Indian population
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Primary Health Care Corporation, Doha, Qatar
Sane Hospital and Diabetic Care Center, Pachora, India
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1027
Background and Objective: Risky substance use, infectious diseases, injuries and mental disorders are some of the identified health problems of adolescents in India. However, health inequalities persist among adolescents with widening disparities in access to quality care, predominantly in rural and underserved populations of India. The research indicates sparse knowledge levels about adolescent health (AH) among school students, grass root level health workers (GRLHWs) and general community people. The current study applied cascade approach to augment the awareness about adolescent health aspects and related health welfare programmes among school students, GRLHWs and general community people. Methods: A pilot interventional study was carried out at one of the rural clusters of one of the districts of Maharashtra State of India. The designed TIV [(Training modules preparation (T), Interactive sessions (I) and Village health meetings (V)] was implemented to educate 168 school students from 8th to 10th class, 110 grass root level health workers and 625 general community people in stepwise manner. Results: Significant (p<0.001) adolescent health knowledge improvement, active learning and positive perceptions about intervention were reported among all study participants. In addition to knowledge gain, incorporating module framing activity and interactive events were found to be effective to strengthen interpersonal communication, critical thinking, leadership, self-learning abilities and team work skills among school students. Conclusions: This study has potential to build productive and synergistic relationships between students, teachers, families, and community stakeholders to ensure commitment and engagement towards positive health. This study, emphasizing on adolescent health may be extended to address other crucial health challenges in marginalized population like maternal and child well-being, communicable diseases, life style disorders etc. The long-term impact of the current study may be appraised in the form of greater awareness of health needs of rural adolescents as well as significant decline of health problems among them.