- What: The Young Health Programme focuses on raising awareness of non-communicable disease (NCD) risk factors among adolescents and preventing NCDs later in life.
- Details: It takes a three-pronged approach, working with partners to 1) build evidence on adolescent-focused NCD prevention; 2) advocate for related policies and services; and 3) deliver “on-the-ground” programmes to address risk factors.
- Scope: Activities have been carried out in 27 countries globally, including Brazil, China, India, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia.
- Change: Since 2014, AstraZeneca has scaled up the programme in India and expanded it to Kenya.
AstraZeneca’s Young Health Programme focuses on preventing non-communicable disease among adolescents.
AstraZeneca has scaled up its Young Health Programme (recognised as an innovation in the Access to Medicine Index 2014). This philanthropic capacity building programme focuses on raising awareness of NCD risk factors (e.g., smoking, alcohol use, poor diet) among adolescents and preventing NCDs later in life.
It takes a three-pronged approach, working with non-government organisation partners (including the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Plan International) to 1) identify evidence gaps and support research regarding policies and services for adolescent-focused NCD prevention; 2) advocate for the prioritisation of such policies and services; and 3) deliver “on-the-ground” programmes to address NCD risk factors.
The programme was launched in 2010 and is anticipated to finish in 2020. Through the programme, activities have been carried out in 27 countries globally, seven of which are in scope of the Access to Medicine Index 2016 (Brazil, China, India, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia). In the period of analysis for the 2016 Index, the Young Health Programme was scaled up in India (after running for five years) and expanded to Kenya. In India, the programme is newly focusing on NCD risk factors in marginalised areas of north-west Delhi. In Kenya, the programme aims to contribute to improved health and gender equality of young people in Kibera, a large slum in Nairobi.
Compared to its peers measured in the Index, AstraZeneca’s Young Health Programme is notable both for its focus on primary prevention (i.e., preventing the onset of disease through risk reduction to avoid the need for medicines or other health interventions), and that it targets its activities at empowering hard-to-reach, marginalised young people.