World Cancer Day: AstraZeneca expands its flagship initiative ‘Young Health Programme’ to Bengaluru

Signs a MoU with ‘Plan India’ to deliver public awareness campaign on prevention of NCDs - specifically Cancer in the communities around Mahadevpura, Dasarahalli and Yelahanka

New Delhi: This World Cancer Day, AstraZeneca, a science-led biopharmaceutical company, and Plan India, an NGO, signed an MoU to expand its ‘Young Health Programme’ (YHP) in the state of Karnataka after tremendous success over the past 10 years in Delhi and Tamil Nadu.
Present at the virtual event, Gagandeep Singh, Managing Director AstraZeneca India said, “YHP is one of our key global community investment initiatives specifically focused on empowering young people with the knowledge to make healthier choices so that they will become healthier as adults. With Plan India, we are working locally, nationally, and globally to deliver accurate health information and fight the myths and stigma around NCDs.  Cancer is one of the most common NCDs so it gives me great pride to announce this expansion to Bangalore as one of our first target regions in the state on this World Cancer Day.”
YHP aims to reduce the uptake of unhealthy behaviours in young people to improve their health outcomes as adults and help address the growing burden of NCDs on health systems.  YHP was first launched in Delhi in 2010 and over the past decade, has directly reached more than 460,000 young people with health information and trained more than 7,800 Peer Educators who have delivered numerous health promotion activities including theme-based competition drawing, debates, quizzes, writing, sports, plays and storytelling.  YHP established 15 ‘Health Information Centres’ in Delhi, 2 in Chennai and will be launching 3 in the communities around Mahadevpura, Dasarahalli and Yelahanka in Bangalore. In this first year in Karnataka, YHP aims to reach 50,000 adolescents and build a strong foundation to scale up the project in the years to come.
Present at the event was Dr Ravi Kumar, Senior Regional Director, MOHFW, Govt of India who addressed the audience and spoke about the role of awareness and early intervention in defeating cancer: “We are all dealing with a pandemic for the past two years which made it natural for us all to focus on curbing its spread as much as possible. But equal focus is needed towards generating right awareness and understanding about lifestyle related diseases and adolescents is the right group to target if we need to safeguard our future. I am glad that organisations are joining hands towards the same to propel knowledge on this subject across more and more parts of the country.
Mohammed Asif, Executive Director, Plan India, said, “On the occasion of World Cancer Day we once again focus on our resolve to support children, adolescents and young people and their parents and care givers on healthy behaviours and be protected from cancer. Having seen significant improvements in the communities in Delhi, Tamil Nadu, we are confident that with AstraZeneca, we will be able to make a difference in Bengaluru too through children’s and youth participation, community intervention and engagement.”
Globally, YHP has reached more than 8 million young people in more than 30 countries around the world.  In 2020, AstraZeneca made a global commitment of $35 million to renew the YHP for another 5 years and set new and ambitious goals. From 2021 to 2025, the YHP aims to reach 10 million more young people with health information in countries around the world.