Objectives & Approach
Diabetes has become a major health issue in Kerala, a state in the Southwest part of India. Due to changes in lifestyle behaviour, an alarming increase in prevalence has been evident. A diabetes epidemiological survey conducted in 2007 in the rural area of the state showed a prevalence rate of 14.6%. This is one of the highest prevalence rates reported among Indian states.
Diabetes and other lifestyle diseases receive minimal attention from health care providers in Kerala and consequently, there is a lack of proper awareness, prevention and control.
In 2011, the government of India launched an integrated scheme for the prevention of NCDs in 100 districts. As part of this initiative, two districts in Kerala were selected for implementation of the “kNOw” diabetes project (WDF 07-236). The successful implementation of this particular project has contributed much towards the design of the proposed project.
This project aims to empower the coming generation in primary prevention and control of diabetes and other lifestyle diseases.
The proposed project will focus on developing a sustainable health education system consisting of multiple stakeholders in Kerala targeting diabetes and other lifestyle diseases. Several internet based programs and platforms will be consolidated for developing an effective online health education program.
The project comprises of four major components:
1) An online health education centre will be established. The content of the programme will focus on facts about diabetes and other lifestyle diseases, healthy lifestyle (e.g. yoga against stress, harms of smoking and alcohol consumption), nutrition, preventive measures against diabetes during pregnancy and diabetes and TB. Video lessons, talk shows and interviews (with diabetologists, physiotherapists, yoga masters and nutritionists) will be produced and uploaded on websites, blogs, YouTube channel and other social media platforms.
2) A health education system will be established in collaboration with local government authorities. As part of the activities 400 schools will be selected as distance centres of health education. About 800 teachers are expected to attend the training camps. The teachers trained will select a minimum of 100 student volunteers to receive awareness classes about primary prevention and effective use of internet programs and social media platforms. The student volunteers will be entrusted with the task of educating at least 5 fellow students and a minimum of 10 adults in their neighbourhoods. Hubs will be established to co-ordinate the activities conducted in the distance education centres.
3) A campaign with multimedia exhibitions, television programs, print and visual media will be carried out. The exhibition is designed to provide information regarding diabetes and other lifestyle diseases for prevention, control and lifestyle modification. Children’s state of health will also be a target in this campaign.
4) As IT hubs are growing rapidly in Kerala, there is an increasing necessity to focus on IT professionals. Many of them live a sedentary life and are chronically subjected to stress, which can considerably increase the odds of developing obesity, cardio vascular diseases and diabetes. Online education will hence be available to 10,000 IT professionals with the aim of promoting healthy lifestyle habits.
• 21,000 people screened