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National Health Mission

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India

Peer Education Programme

Background: Peer Education Programme

The adolescents in the community are covered through Peer Education (PE) Programme. The selected Peer Educators called Saathiya ensure that adolescents benefit from regular and sustained peer education covering all six themes of RKSK.

It is envisaged that this approach would facilitate the coverage of out of school adolescents in addition to the school going adolescents.   The states may consider the districts with high proportion of out-of-school adolescents through this intervention.

Under the PE programme, four peer educators (two boys and two girls) are selected per village/1000 population/ASHA habitation to reach out to adolescents. Saathiya selection is facilitated by ASHA in consultation with Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Committee.

Each Saathiya forms a group of 15-20 boys or girls from their community and conducts weekly one to two hour participatory sessions using PE kits. Saathiya also maintains a diary, including a brief overview of each session and the number of participants. They will sensitize e adolescents towards their health and inform them about existing adolescent friendly health services, so that all the adolescents may optimally utilize it.

Saathiya facilitates the organization of the quarterly Adolescent Health Days (AHD) and participate in the Adolescent Friendly Club (AFC) meetings also.

ASHA acts as the village level Saathiya coordinator and takes the lead in ensuring that the peer education activities are carried out smoothly at the village level. ANMs and Male Health Workers  moderate the monthly AFC sessions and Medical Officer In-charge and Block Adolescent Health Coordinators  provide the oversight.

Adolscent health days

The Quarterly Adolescent Health Day (AHD) is one of the interventions under RKSK to improve coverage with preventive and promotive interventions for adolescents and to increase awareness among adolescents, parents, families and stakeholders about issues and needs related to adolescent health. AHDs are conducted at the village level at Anganwadi Centres or any other public place where adolescents and all stakeholders have easy accessibility. Block adolescent health coordinator is the focal person to coordinate for AHD, ensuring availability of commodities and services and ensure that publicity is done before hand. ASHAs engage with parents and families of adolescents to increase awareness about the unique needs of adolescents.

Adolescent Friendly Club Meetings

 Apart from above, Adolescent Friendly Club (AFC) meetings are also organized once a month at sub-centre level under the overall guidance of ANM. These typically cover 5 villages/5000 population composed of 10-20 Saathiya each. During meetings, Saathiya from different villages meet and clarify issues which they have encountered during their weekly sessions with the help of ANM.