Reaching young people and their communities
Between 2010 and 2020:
A holistic approach
We believe that a holistic approach is the most effective way to address NCD prevention and promote long-term health for young people.
As well as the five recognised NCD risk factors, tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, physical inactivity, an unhealthy diet and air pollution, this approach includes sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and the emotional wellbeing of young people, and using a gendered approach to NCD prevention.
In this way, the programme addresses the impact of underlying social, economic, cultural and psychological factors and creates an environment in which young people have access to the support, information and services they need.
The benefits of peer education
The Young Health Programme uses peer education as the main strategy to build young people’s knowledge and skills on NCD prevention.
Once young people are trained, peer educators share what they have learned with other young people and wider community members including parents, teachers and health professionals.
Young people also become advocates for health and use their voice to influence government services and policies. Through the programme, we champion the prioritisation of young people’s health and the inclusion of NCD prevention in global policies and programmes.
Connecting and empowering young people
The Young Health Programme aims to improve the long-term health and wellbeing of young people through four interrelated and reinforcing strategies:
- Empowering young people by building their knowledge and capacity to protect and promote their long-term health, including NCD prevention, SRHR, gender and emotional well-being.
- Mobilising communities by increasing knowledge on NCD prevention among teachers, families and local leaders, to ensure a safe and supportive environment that facilitates healthy behaviour among young people.
- Strengthening the capacity of health facilities to support the health of young people, including the accessibility and quality of youth friendly services.
- Advocating for laws and policies which support NCD prevention and promote the broader health of young people.
Read more in our report celebrating 10 years of the Young Health Programme:
‘I don’t feel dizzy anymore’
Through the Young Health Programme Ishita, 15, has learnt about the importance of healthy eating and having a balanced diet. Now she’s changed the way she eats and is no longer anaemic – and has become a peer educator for the programme in India too.
“I feel much healthier now and I don’t get dizzy anymore,” she says.
“I take meetings in the community and I also take sessions every Monday which has helped me gain confidence. I feel good about myself that I am teaching.”
Young Health Programme UK
Announced in 2020, our Young Health Programme in the UK will tackle the growing mental health and wellbeing inequalities faced by young people across the country, with a focus on gender inequality. Running across four locations, it will reach over 130,000 young people, aged 10 to 24, over five years.
The programme will be designed with and for young people, following an innovative youth-centred design model. With young people’s voices at the heart of the programme, we will work together to identify solutions to tackle health inequalities and improve the health and wellbeing of the young people and their communities.
We asked adolescents what they wanted UN delegates to know about the challenges they face in relation to healthcare – here’s what they said
Our newest youth team are helping the next generation to live healthy lives.
Syifa from our Young Health Programme shares her experiences at the One Young World Summit.
Join us as we celebrate the young people empowering their peers to improve their health.