Syngene International in association with Narayana Health, Agastya International Foundation and Biocon Foundation has launched CHAMPS (Child Health Activists Mentoring & Promoting Health in Society), recently in Bengaluru.
CHAMPS is a student mediated initiative focused on preventing and managing early onset of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
The initiative, currently rolled out as a five-month pilot, is intended to be a three-year programme to educate students in the prevention and management of early onset NCDs and promote a healthier lifestyle.
As a part of the programme, the 8th and 9th standard students will be trained to screen for hypertension symptoms within their community.
“Through CHAMPS, we shall engage high school students as change agents by training them to screen for symptoms, record blood pressure readings and share it with relevant authorities,” said Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Managing Director, Syngene International Ltd, in a statement.
The number of fatalities in India due to hypertension has risen and the states with greater urbanization, human and social development have greater incidence, according to ‘Hypertension in India’ report by National Centre of Biotechnology and Information (NCBI). This programme would enable monitoring of NCDs in communities for corrective actions to be implemented, she added.
“The aim of CHAMPS programme is two-fold. First, we would like to detect high BP at an early stage to prevent future complications by appropriate treatment. By training high school students to record BP, we are introducing passionate young kids to the world of the medical profession and change the way healthcare is delivered globally,” said Dr Devi Shetty, Chairman and Executive Director, Narayana Health.
In India, 60% of all fatalities are caused by NCDs: type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart and respiratory diseases. Studies conducted across India reported high prevalence of hypertension with little to no awareness and control. The Fourth National Family Health Survey evaluated and reported hypertension in 207 million people (men 112 million, women 95 million).