Thailand becoming better protected from non-communicable diseases as over 1.4 million young people and community members got empowered by Young Health Programme Thailand

  • A collaboration between AstraZeneca Thailand and Plan International Thailand has completed its second year of addressing non-communicable disease (NCD) prevention among young people.
  • The programme’s key second-year progress includes , Bangkhen, Laksri, Wattana, Klongtoey, Prapadang and Mueng Samut Prakan across seven districts of the greater Bangkok area.
  • The 5-year programme aims to empower a total target of 75,240 young people aged 10-24 years and 11,385 parents, teachers and health professionals in Thailand.

Bangkok, Thailand – Plan International Thailand and AstraZeneca Thailand today host the first open house event with second-year progress showcase of Young Health Programme Thailand, a global community investment initiative from AstraZeneca, focusing on young people and prevention of the most common non-communicable diseases (NCDs): cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases.

With a commitment to help Thailand overcome world’s most threatening cause of death, the Young Health Programme Thailand launched in November 2019 has implemented a significant number of activities throughout its two-year journey until June 2021 including advisory committee meetings, district launch in Bangkok and Samut Prakan province, peer education trainings and sessions, training for teachers, peer educators supporting school health programmes, communication campaigns and events linked to awareness days, network building with health professionals and development of score-carding, advocacy strategy, and join advocacy networks

Entering its third year, the Thailand programme has so far reached 10,180 young people through 117 peer educators and YHP activities, mobilized 196 community leaders and stakeholders, empowered a total of 354 teachers, 3,258 parents and caregivers, and 57 health professionals through trainings and programme activities, and indirectly inspired more than 1,393,619 community members through mass activities and social media outreach.

Giving a special remark at the event, H.E. Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health Thailand stated: “Thailand has placed an importance on promoting healthy lives and well-being at all ages. Promoting health of our young people has been particularly given a priority in our health agenda. We have been educating, empowering, and collaborating with young people across the country on health education, including risk factors associated with NCDs, sexual and reproductive health and mental health. The activities under Young Health Programme are supporting Thailand’s 20-year National Strategy, Ministry of Public Health’s policy and Target 3 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or SDG 3.”  

Reporting the progress and underlining the need for integrated partnerships, James Teague, Country President, AstraZeneca (Thailand) Ltd., said: “While we are fighting the pandemic, AstraZeneca never stops using our capabilities to make the most meaningful impact around preventing and controlling non-communicable diseases (NCDs), the world’s most threatening cause of death. As we push the boundaries of science to deliver life-changing medicines, we know that medicines alone cannot resolve the world’s health issues. Prevention, especially focused on behaviour change, must play a central role in addressing these diseases. Collaboration and cooperation, we have earned throughout the progress of Young Health Programme Thailand, including our partnership with the Ministry of Public Health, have strengthened our belief that we are doing the right thing and our confidence in the greater access to healthcare to come.”

Emphasizing the importance of the programme, John McGown, Country Director, Plan International Thailand said: “With an estimate of around 70% of premature deaths in adults being largely caused by behaviours started in adolescence1, reducing the uptake of unhealthy behaviours in young people and building positive health-seeking environments are very key to tackling the accelerating premature mortality rate due to NCDs in Thailand and elsewhere. Considering the rising death rate due to NCDs, our efforts to improve health outcomes for youth through innovative, behaviour change programmes, advocacy and public policy activities have never been more important.”

In 2022 until its final year, the Youth Health Programme Thailand will further reduce NCDs by shaping strong and healthy young people with key educational and inspiring activities including on-the-ground NCD prevention sessions for young people, youth leadership and advocacy training, monthly campaigns and events linked to awareness, youth-friendly health service training for health professional, score-carding by peer educators, seminar on NCD prevention among young people, implement the advocacy strategy, and participation of young people in key advocacy events.

According to the World Health Organisation progress monitor in 2020, NCDs are the leading cause of death in Thailand accounting for 74% of total deaths, and 14% probability of premature mortality between the ages of 30 and 70 years.2 Cardiovascular diseases and cancers are the most prevalent causes of deaths in Thailand, accounting for 23% and 18% of mortality respectively. 3 It is estimated that over 1,000 of Thais die every day due to NCDs. 4

The Young Health Programme Thailand launched in November 2019 is a five-year programme that aims to contribute to the improved health and wellbeing of young people between 10-24 years of age in seven districts of the Greater Bangkok area including Bang Ken, Chatuchak, Laksi, Wattana, Klong Toey in Bangkok city, and Muang and Pra Padaeng in Samut Prakan province. Specifically, it aims to ensure that young people in Bangkok have increased knowledge about risk behaviours and NCD prevention, which gives them greater capacity to make informed decisions about their health, in the context of improved health services, an enabling support system and policy environment.

The Young Health Programme Thailand hopes to directly reach more than 75,000 young people and community members with health information and NCD prevention programming. Indirectly, it is expected to reach an additional 500,000 people in the wider community through campaigns and awareness raising activities.

Globally, the AstraZeneca Young Health Programme has reached more than twelve million young people in more than 30 countries across six continents since it was launched in 2010.

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About AstraZeneca’s Young Health Programme:

AstraZeneca’s Young Health Programme (YHP) is a global disease prevention programme with a unique focus on young people aged 10 to 24, living in vulnerable environments and under-resourced settings around the world. The YHP aims to prevent the most common non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease and mental ill health.

Delivered in partnership with Plan International and UNICEF and informed by research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, it has reached more than 30 countries and 12 million youth with information about NCD risk behaviours.  The YHP aims to support the development of protective environments and empower young people to make informed choices about their health.  A holistic and integrated programme, it combines community programmes, research and advocacy and supports the development of young leaders. The YHP is part of AstraZeneca’s sustainability commitment to use our capabilities to make the most meaningful impact where society needs it - health.

To learn more about the Young Health Programme, please visit yhp.astrazeneca.com

AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca (LSE/STO/Nasdaq: AZN) is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialisation of prescription medicines in Oncology, Rare Diseases and BioPharmaceuticals, including Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology. Based in Cambridge, UK, AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. Please visit astrazeneca.com and follow the Company on Twitter @AstraZeneca.

About Plan International Thailand

Plan International is a non-profit organization operating in more than 70 countries worldwide to promote, enhance, and protect children’s rights and ensure equality for girls. Plan International Thailand has been working in Thailand since 1981 to help build a just society using a Child Centered Community Development approach that puts children’s best interests as its top priority by working with children, young people, public/private partners, communities and families to drive positive changes that further children’s rights and gender equality at the local, national and global level.  Please visit https://plan-international.org/thailand and follow on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/plan.thailand

Contact

For further details please contact Pucharapan Holim, Communications Manager, pucharapan.holim@astrazeneca.com, +66 (0) 86 999 8587.

Patcharee Srisumran, Young Health Programme Thailand Manager,
patcharee.Srisumran@plan-international.org, +66 (0) 87 051 6141


References

1. Susan M Sawyer, Rima A Afi fi , Linda H Bearinger, Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, Bruce Dick, Alex C Ezeh, George C Patton. Adolescence: a foundation for future health. The Lancet Volume 379, Issue 9826, 28 April–4 May 2012, Pages 1630–1640

2. World Health Organization, NCD Progress Monitor 2020 https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/ncd-progress-monitor-2020

3. Young Health Programme Thailand https://www.younghealthprogrammeyhp.com/programmes/thailand.html

4. DDC under MoPH and WHO progress tracker https://cdn.who.int/media/docs/default-source/thailand/ncds/progress-tracker-2020-ncds-231120.pdf?sfvrsn=11e9539c_3