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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE- FORUM
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 122-125

Engaging youth for global NCD agenda- experiences of youth parliament


1 Department of Community Medicine, School of Public Health, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
2 Department of Pediatrics, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
3 Health Plan , New Delhi, India
4 Advanced Pediatric Centre, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
5 Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram, Chandigarh, India

Date of Web Publication22-Feb-2018

Correspondence Address:
Rachana Srivastava
School of Public Health, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jncd.jncd_45_17

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  Abstract 


With speedy urbanization and globalization, there is looming threat of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, mental health disorders, and chronic respiratory illnesses, which are majorly preventable. Even though youngsters are affected more through NCDs and bear the emotional, financial, and social brunt of NCDs all through their lives, most preventive actions are not youth oriented. Therefore, active involvement of youngsters is desirable within all global development policy discussions and should be motivated. Youth Parliament can provide a forum to formulate pro-youth policies by engaging youngsters in critical thinking and discussions. Such forum can identify and discuss the key issues of NCDs and raise a collective voice to influence the policymakers of the government, nongovernmental organizations, donors, and civil society members.

Keywords: Health, noncommunicable diseases, policy, youth, youth parliament


How to cite this article:
Srivastava R, Kumar P, Das K, Bharti B, Thind P, Sharma M, Khanna P, Thakur J S. Engaging youth for global NCD agenda- experiences of youth parliament. Int J Non-Commun Dis 2017;2:122-5

How to cite this URL:
Srivastava R, Kumar P, Das K, Bharti B, Thind P, Sharma M, Khanna P, Thakur J S. Engaging youth for global NCD agenda- experiences of youth parliament. Int J Non-Commun Dis [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Oct 16];2:122-5. Available from: http://www.ijncd.org/text.asp?2017/2/4/122/225977




  Introduction Top


Youth parliament is an open democratic structure whereby young people have a choice to voice concerns and opinions and where they can be supported to actively participate in changing the situation within community. It is an inspiring platform for the youth to speak-up and highlight the need for new thinking.[1]

Childhood is the period during which most lifestyle habits associated with noncommunicable diseases' (NCDs) risk get engrained. This means that, if children and adolescents are prepared and provided with adequate knowledge about various NCDs and protective practices, we can prevent these chronic diseases.

NCDs and their risk factors need to be recognized by youth because behaviors instilled in young age are linked with untimely loss of life in adults: more than 150 million young people smoke, 81% of adolescents do not get sufficient physical activity, 11.7% of adolescents participate in heavy episodic drinking, and 41 million children below the age of 5 years are overweight or obese.[2]

Cognitive capabilities and learning outcomes among children can be improved by minimizing contact with tobacco, alcohol, poor diet, and sedentary lifestyle. Schools can serve as health-promoting facilities by providing a healthy environment, as they can influence children at the tender age and can assist in establishing healthy behaviors in their formative years that are expected to persist all through the life course.[2]

Youth Parliament in NCD Prevention design and delivery

Youth Parliament can be used as a political, social, and educational apparatus in which students from different backgrounds, who are capable of understanding the demand of the hour and are ready to take accountability, can work together for reducing NCDs globally by aiming at recognized risk factors of NCDs (tobacco usage, poor diets, inadequate physical activity, and alcohol consumption), as well as mental health conditions as these are instigated at a young age. One can emphasize on peer-to-peer learning and “for youth, by youth” approaches.[3]


  Methodology Top


Youth Parliament was a landmark initiative of World Noncommunicable Disease Congress-2017 (WNCDC) for finding futuristic solutions for NCDs. It embarks upon new ways and means to counter NCD prevalence worldwide to achieve a healthy and NCD-free future for all. The WNCDC in collaboration with Plan India organized Youth Parliament on November 6, 2017, with representation of young people from five countries–Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, and India–to debate on the issues related to NCD risk behaviors and its prevention and management.

Fourteen important stakeholders such as school principals, pediatricians, members from school health project, nodal officer of Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram, Chandigarh, and public health nutritionists were selected as mentors. A series of meetings were held to decide modus operandi and agenda of Youth Parliament. Mentors decided that highly articulated youth should be in the age group of 15–24 years and should be selected from schools (15–18 years) and colleges (19–24 years). It was also decided that a charter should be developed in five thematic areas, namely, diet and nutrition in NCDs, physical activity and NCDs, mental health, substance abuse, and sustainable development goals (SDGs) according to NCD risk factors under different ministries. Mentors planned two consecutive events: a preparliament workshop and another main event, for better understanding and performance of the students. A workshop (mock parliament) was held in forenoon where sensitization of the students was done regarding Youth Parliament, NCDs, and life course approach and policies in different countries. This was followed by division of students into groups simulating ministries and opposition and the formulation of bills. The main event or Youth Parliament was scheduled subsequently with real-life setting of parliament, with oath taking ceremony, presentation of bills by various ministries on their allotted themes, voting on bills, and formation of youth charter on NCDs.


  Proceedings Top


The Youth Parliament was organized at Advanced Pediatric Centre of Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh. Youth Parliament workshop commenced with introduction of the participants and their sensitization on Youth Parliament, NCDs, SDGs, and life course approach. Different policies on NCDs and adolescent health in South East Asian countries were introduced by mentors of Youth Parliament. Afterward, youth were divided into five ministries each with a theme, namely, Ministry for Sports and Youth Affairs (physical activity in NCDs), Ministry for Health (mental health), Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment (substance abuse), Ministry of Women and Child Development (diet and nutrition in NCDs), and Ministry of Environment (SDGs). Another group acted as opposition on all the five themes. Each ministry was asked to form bills on actions that should be taken by government, society and community, and schools/colleges. Mentors who were experts of the topic/theme helped in this activity. Ministries also democratically selected their cabinet minister to present their bills in the house.

During the subsequent main event, oath was taken by all Youth Parliament members. After this, each ministry presented its bills on its respective themes. This was followed by question hour and voting on the bills. The bills with more than 50% votes were summarized as recommendations of Youth Parliament and were presented to WNCDC President as the Youth charter for NCDs [Annexure 1] [Additional file 1]. Key recommendations pertaining to key risk factors, i.e., mental health, substance abuse, unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, and environment and air pollution were made.


  Discussion Top


The opportunities for participation that young people experience in their communities are likely to influence their development and the kind of transitions they make to adulthood. As partners in development, young people also need the 21st century skills and networks supporting them in shaping the future in their countries and in realizing the SDGs. As the decision makers of tomorrow, youth need to be involved in the process of decision-making today. In the battle against NCDs, adolescents and youth are incredible, natural partners for averting NCDs; however, so far, they are an underutilized resource. The anticipated brunt of NCDs could be bowdlerized further in half or more by aiming on disease prevention and health promotion as anticipated by experts. The intensifying NCD count globally provides a sense of indispensability to youth in a fragile global health condition. The primary effect of Youth Parliament will be to encourage a breed of self-confident, ideological, and politically correct individuals for future. The fissures between government policies can be repaired with the help of Youth Parliament. More such events are needed to be organized in the future.


  Conclusion Top


Youth Parliament was a landmark initiative of World Noncommunicable Disease Congress-2017 (WNCDC) for finding futuristic solutions for NCDs. It embarks upon new ways and means to counter NCD prevalence worldwide to achieve a healthy and NCD-free future for all.

Resource Persons/Contributors

Praveen Kumar, Department of Pediatrics, PGIMER, Chandigarh; Kalyanashish Das, Health Plan India, New Delhi; Bhavneet Bharti, Department of Pediatrics, PGIMER, Chandigarh; Paramjyoti Thind,4Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram, Chandigarh; Poonam Khanna, School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh; and JS Thakur, School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh.

Financial support and sponsorship

This study was financially supported by World NCD Federation and Plan International India, New Delhi.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Available from: http://www.mpa.nic.in/mpa/Pdf/ypc.pdf. [Last accessed on 2017 Nov 8].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Available from: http://.www.stakeholderforum.org/fileadmin/files/AYUDA.pdf. [Last accessed on 2017 Nov 10].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Enhancing Youth Political Participation throughout the Electoral Cycle UNDP; January, 2013. Available from: http://www.undp.org/content/dam/undp/library/democratic%20Governance/Electoral%20Systems%20and%20Processes/ENG_UN-Youth_Guide-LR.pd. [Last accessed on 2017 Nov 10]..  Back to cited text no. 3
    




 

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  Conclusion
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