The Union Health Ministry is all set to roll out a health programme in schools to spread awareness on the health and wellness aspects of the Centre’s flagship Ayushman Bharat programme. The first look of the programme was unveiled on the first day of a meeting of the Central Council of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday.
Under the programme, two teachers in every school across the country will be trained and designated as health and wellness ambassadors. They will then conduct age-appropriate, culturally sensitive weekly sessions with students on facets of wellness, including importance of growing up healthy, nutrition, gender equality, reproductive health and HIV prevention. The Health Ministry will collaborate with the Ministry of Human Resources Development for the programme.
Talking about the programme, Health Secretary Preeti Sudan said: “Health and wellness ambassadors are crucial in bringing a culture of wellness right from the school level. If we can teach our children wellness at an early age, we would have built a new India. The idea is to ‘catch them young’ so that they make healthy habits a way of life. They will become ambassadors, who will then spread the message to their families and friends.”
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said: “Health needs to become a social movement in every state & UT (Union Territory) and the Eat Right and Fit India movements need to be taken up by states and UTs in a synergised manner, to ensure a healthy & robust India.”
At Thursday’s inaugural session, Dr Harsh Vardhan, along with the other ministers, launched a new initiative — ‘Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan (SUMAN)’ — with an aim to eliminate preventable maternal and newborn deaths completely. SUMAN was earlier named Pradhan Mantri – Assured and Safe Motherhood Initiative (PM-ASMI).