The Union Health Ministry on 20 February 2017 launched the SAATHIYA Resource Kit and mobile app named ‘Saathiya Salah’ for adolescents. The kit and the app were launched as part of the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) program.
The key intervention of the programme is an introduction of Saathiyas (the Peer Educators), who will act as a catalyst for generating demand for the adolescent health services. The kit and app will also impart age appropriate knowledge on key adolescent health issues to their peer groups. The Resource Kit comprises of
i) Activity Book
ii) Bhranti-Kranti Game
iii) Question-Answer Book
iv) Peer Educator Diary
Mobile app ‘Saathiya Salah’
• The app ‘Saathiya Salah’ is downloadable from the Google play store.
• It will act as a ready information source for adolescents when they will not be able to interact with the peer educators.
Besides, the mobile app is also linked to a cost-effective information platform of a toll-free Saathiya Helpline (1800-233-1250). This helpline will act as an e-counselor for the caller.
The SAATHIYA resource kit and the mobile app were launched by CK Mishra, the secretary of health and family welfare.
Adolescents in India
India is a home to nearly 253 million adolescents, which is the largest in the world in terms of absolute numbers. When RMNCH programmes were launched globally, India was the first nation to add the +A, that is, adolescent component to the Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (RMNCH), making it today’s RMNCH+A program’.
Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK)
Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram was launched by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in January 2014 with an aim to address and cater to the health and development needs of the country’s adolescents. The karyakram has identified six strategic priorities for adolescents and they are
• Substance misuse
• Mental health
• Non-communicable diseases (NCDs)
• Sexual and reproductive health (SRH)
• Injuries and violence (including gender-based violence)
Why SAATHIYA Resource Kit was launched for the RKSK program?
The SAATHIYA resource kit was launched to enable peer educators to communicate with the adolescents of their community. The kit will help the 1.6 lakh per educators in taking forward their job by answering all queries that are generated in the minds of adolescents.
How Peer Educators would be made effective?
As per a release, the peer educators from across the country will be trained in a phased manner about the optimum use of the kit, which is a ready source of a range of communication material specially designed to help them to be recognised and respected as ‘saathiya’, a good friend for the adolescents.
The peer educators will also play short films at their group meetings. The games and the activity books will bring about discussion and resolve around adolescent queries.
The Resource Kit was developed by the help of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Population Foundation of India (PFI). The two institutions acted as the development partners of the SAATHIYA Resource Kit.