Stowelink in January solidified a collaboration with the Kenyatta university community resource management to train NCDS outreach youth champions. this partnership comes under our programme the NCDS youth champions where we are working to support and young people in institutions of higher learning with information on NCDS and commissioning them to train other young people in the community on non-communicable diseases. this is Stowelink’s approach of ensuring non communicable diseases literacy is increased by actively working with young people as drivers for this change.
It is important for young people to understand NCDS and their risk factors. Two-thirds of premature deaths in adults are associated with childhood conditions5 or behaviors initiated in youth: over 150 million young people smoke;5 81% of adolescents don’t get enough physical activity;6 11.7% of adolescents partake in heavy episodic drinking7 and 41 million children under 5 years old are overweight or obese.8 Entrenched behaviors and unhealthy environments ensure that NCDS will continue to affect future generations.
Many young people today have unprecedented access to information and the capacity to act on that information in shaping their own lives, and determining their own health status.9 Young people can contribute in several ways to prevent NCDS. By using new media, young voices can provide a novel perspective on NCD prevention and control by sharing targeted messages on key risk factors and interventions. Young people can engage with different communities and share information about NCDS.
Young people can lead programmes to promote healthy behavior, such as community exercise classes, or healthy eating programmes. We can contribute to education and awareness initiatives, to inform the public and decision-makers about health problems and solutions. Young medical and allied health students also have a unique opportunity to get involved. Students on clinical rotations can promote effective disease prevention measures such as tobacco cessation.
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