Adolescent Health Programme/RKSK (Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram)

Adolescents are individuals aged between 10 and 19 years.Adolescence is important phase in the life span of an individual, with longterm influence on his / her overall health. In order to promote Adolescent Health in a holistic manner, a multi- component intervention targeting both determinants of health problems and their consequences is imperative. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare -National Health Mission, along with Government of Kerala has put in place a comprehensive health programme for adolescents, i.e.,RashtriyaKishorSwasthyaKaryakram (RKSK)/ Adolescent Health Programme.

I. VISION

The Adolescent Health Programme envisionsthat all adolescents in Kerala are enabled to realize their full potential by-
a)Making informed and responsible decisions related to their health and well being
b) Accessing the existing services and support systems for resolving issues

II. MISSION

• To increase the availability and access to information about health to all adolescents
• To increase accessibility and utilization of quality adolescents health service
• To develop multi-sectorial partnerships to create safe and supportive environments for adolescents
• To institute special strategies to target adolescents residing in geographic pockets or negative socio-economic environments, which make them vulnerable to health and nutrition risks.

III. GUIDING PRINCIPLES

The Adolescent Health strategy adheres to the following key principles
• Adolescent participation and leadership
• Equity,Gender Equity, inclusion
• Strategic partnerships

IV. OBJECTIVES

The specific objectives of the programme are
a) Improve nutrition
b) Enable/enhance sexual,reproductive and maternal health
c) Enhance mental health
d) Prevent/reduce injuries and violence
e) Prevent Substance misuse
f) Address non-communicable diseases prevention

V. STRATEGIES
NUTRITION

a. To reduce the prevalence of malnutrition among adolescents
b. To reduce prevalence of Iron Deficiency Anemiaamong adolescents

SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH

a) To improve knowledge,attitude and behavior in relation to SRH
b) To promote healthy menstrual hygiene practices among adolescent girls
c) To reduce teenage pregnancies by giving knowledge about risks of early conception

MENTAL HEALTH

To address mental health concern of adolescents

INJURIES AND VIOLENCE
To promote favorable attitudes against injuries and violence , including GBV among adolescents

SUBSTANCE MISUSE

To raise awareness on adverse effects and consequences of substance misuse

NON COMMUNICABLE DISEASES

To promote behavior change for prevention of NCDs, hypertension, stroke, cardio vascular diseases, cancer and diabetes through healthy life styles and promotion of physical activity.

VI. SCHEMES

1. Facility –based approach
a) Adolescent Friendly Health Centres( AFHCs) AFHCs are functioning in the state at major hospitals DH/THQH (plus, in CHCs in Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Idukki, Palakkad, Malappuram,Wayanad, and Kasargod district).In AFHC, counseling services are delivered by the trained AH counselor. Those clients who require clinical services are referred to the concerned OPs and their consultation with the specialist is facilitated. The details regarding AFHCs location, contact persons etc. can be accessed live through DISHA helpline, 0471 2552056 or 1056 toll free.

b) Outreach activities: -by AH counselor (includes AH seminars/classes , Question Box etc. ) at schools and community level.

2. School –based approach

a) Weekly Iron Folic Acid Supplementation (WIFS) programme to reduce the prevalence of Iron deficiency anemia, and its deleterious consequences, jointly run by the Departments of Education, Social Justice and Health &Family Welfare.,
The strategies in WIFS are preventive weekly supplement of Iron Folic Acid tablets for adolescents, from Class 6 to Class 12 in Govt and aided schools and screening and treatment of moderate to severe anemia along with Nutrition Health education
b)Peer Educator ( PE) programme(Student Doctor Cadets/ Kutty doctors)

A strategy to disseminate AH promotional awareness, attitude andbehaviorchange in the community. The trained peer educators a) observe their peers and spot issues by early Buddy Detection, provide Buddy Help, and where necessary, give appropriate Buddy Referrals.

3. Community – based approach

a) Adolescent Health Days and Adolescent Friendly Clubs
Outreach programmesareconducted, focusing on the adolescent age group which will create awareness among them regarding the AFHC services available
b) Menstrual Hygiene
Distribution of sanitary napkins at a subsidized cost to prioritized segments of adolescent girls and sensitization about reproductive health and hygiene and creation of a platform for discussion of the same.