More Years, More Countries for AstraZeneca's award-winning Young Health Programme
AstraZeneca has committed to extending our ground-breaking Young Health Programme (YHP) for another five years, up to 2025. The philanthropic initiative has already reached over three million young people through peer education and public health communications across 26 countries; involved almost 5,000 AstraZeneca volunteers; and trained 20,000 frontline health providers in adolescent health. The YHP also played a central role in AstraZeneca being hailed as ‘Company of the Year’ in the 2019 Third Sector awards.
Adolescence is a key life stage in developing behaviours that can lead to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in later life – for example smoking, alcohol misuse, poor diet and underactivity. By engaging with adolescents, the YHP aims to change behaviours into adulthood and so reduce the incidence of NCDs such as cancers, heart and respiratory diseases, and diabetes.
The YHP uses a unique mix of research, advocacy and on-the-ground education and behaviour change and this renewed commitment will enable the YHP to bring its work to new countries – with Mexico, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam all being added in 2019.
The programme is flexible and responsive to national and local circumstances and priorities with projects ranging from one-to-one mentoring in Sweden, to major programmes involving hundreds of thousands of young people in Brazil and India.
AstraZeneca volunteers have supported the YHP by, for example, presenting about air quality in Chinese schools and running parkour sessions to encourage young people to get more active in Turkey - as well as providing expertise and support on logistics and communications.
Marc Dunoyer, AstraZeneca CFO, who recently visited a programme in the Kibera district of Nairobi said:
I am incredibly proud of the work being done through the YHP to improve the health outcomes of young people.
This has ranged from street theatre to engage local communities; to high quality research with world-leading academic institutions; and advocacy at local, national and international level to ensure that the voice of youth is heard and taken notice of.
Some of these young advocates and communicators are in London this week attending the One Young World Summit as YHP scholars - along with over a thousand other young world leaders - to help build their networks, share insights on how to make change happen, and enhance their already considerable leadership skills.
The YHP is part of AstraZeneca’s commitment to sustainability and the communities within which the company operates – as Katarina Ageborg, EVP Sustainability, puts it ‘YHP supports and protects the health and wellbeing of future generations and, in turn, nations’.