SAATHIYA: To the rescue of adolescence
Dr. Avantika Batish is working as Director Strategy and Healthcare at International Health Emergency Learning and Preparedness. Also, guest faculty for MBA (HR) and MBA Healthcare Management at various B-Schools and is a soft skills trainer.
India is home to 253 million adolescents which is largest in the world in terms of absolute numbers and when Reproductive, Maternal, Newbond and Child Health (RMNCH) programs were launched globally, India was the first country to add the ‘+A’ i.e. adolescent component to the RMNCH, making it today’s RMNCH+A program.
Under the Rashtriya Kishore Swasthya Karyakaram(RKSK) (2014) the Secretary, Health and Family Welfare recently launched the SAATHIYA Resource Kit including ‘SAATHIYA SALAH’ Mobile App for adolescents. RKSK identifies six strategic priorities for adolescents i.e. nutrition, sexual and reproductive health (SRH), non-communicable diseases (NCDs), substance misuse, injuries and violence (including gender-based violence) and mental health.
The most important component and driving force of RKSK program are its Peer Educators and this resource kit has been launched to enable them to communicate with the adolescents of their community.
The Peer Educators (Saathiyas) act as a catalyst for generating demand for the adolescent health services and imparting age appropriate knowledge on key adolescent health issues to their peer groups. In order to equip the Saathiyas in doing so Saathiya Resource Kits (including ‘Saathiya Salah’ Mobile App) have been launched. The kit will enable the 1.6 lakhs Peer Educators towards taking their job forward and answering all the queries in the minds of an adolescent in-spite of the plethora of media like Magazines, TV, internet etc.available.
The Resource Kit comprises
i) An Activity Book
ii) Bhranti-Kranti Game
iii) Question-Answer Book and
iv) Peer Educator Diary
Also the mobile app ‘Saathiya Salah’ (downloadable from Google play-store) acts as a ready information source for the adolescents in case they are unable to interact with the Peer Educators.
The mobile app is also linked to another important piece of costeffective information platform of a toll-free SAATHIYA HELPLINE (1800-233-1250) which will act as an e-counselor. While the short films will be played by the Peer Educators at their group meetings, the activity book and games will bring about discussion and resolve adolescent queries.
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