REACH

Resource Centre for Adolescent and Child Health Program
PROJECT AT A GLANCE
 
Funder: MacArthur Foundation Institutional Grant.
 
Duration: Oct'2001 To Sept' 2004
 
Project Coordinator: Mahalaxmi Bhobe
 
Project Head: Dr Vikram Patel
 
Consultants: Dr Nandita De Souza, Kalpana Joshi and Gracy Andrew.
 
Sangath Staff: Vailana Castellino, Smita Naik.
 
Collaborators & Networking:
NIMHANS; RUWSEC Tamil Nadu, CINI West Bengal, Maharashtra, Chetna Ahmedabad, TATA Institute of Social Sciences Mumbai, TARSHI Delhi, and Sree Chitra Thirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology
 
Objective
To increase the knowledge and understanding of adolescent health concerns, particularly reproductive and sexual health emphasising on gender sensitivity and the rights perspective.To strengthen the capacity of the project institution to become an effective resource organisation in the field of adolescent reproductive and sexual health. To strengthen the capacity of Non Government Organizations and health workers working with adolescents on reproductive and sexual health and rights.
     One out of five Indians is an adolescent. Adolescents constitute about one fifth of India's population and their needs are unique. However, as one can see the same has not been proactively addressed due to paucity of research, information, and educational material. This resulted in a lack of holistic approach in addressing the issue of adolescent reproductive health.
      The Resource Center for Adolescent and Child Health was established by the Sangath society, to makes its contribution towards addressing adolescent issues more holistically. REACH has now been working for the last two and a half years and has been progressively moving towards this endeavor.
 
The Initiatives at REACH
Documentation & Dissemination
REACH has established a documentation and dissemination center for materials pertaining to adolescent health, with an emphasis on collecting relevant material from within the country.
     The library already has a collection of over 350 books and periodicals on adolescent issues which are reviewed and the detailed information of which is made available on the web on request. online library.
     The documentation center has also published the 2nd edition of the report "Health Needs Of Adolescents - A Study In Goa". The study was conducted in Salcette taluka of South Goa.
     It has also published a resource kit for teenagers, parents and teachers titled "All For Teens". The kit comprises of a set of handouts providing information on issues pertaining to health, physical appearance, study skills, communication and self esteem so as to promote better understanding of the period of adolescence.
      The center is also working towards developing more relevant material for adolescents in the future.
 
Training Programme
A) A TRAINING PROGRAMME ON INTERVENTIONS WITH ADOLESCENTS
This began as a one-year program for training in interventions in adolescent health. The program involved two residential workshops of 1 week each. The first workshop was an intensive workshop covering adolescent health needs, assessment and intervention methods. The focus was on individual-level interventions. This was followed by a one year, small project in which the participant implements an intervention project in his or her own work setting, with distance-based supervision. The second workshop allowed for the participants to present their work and learn from one another's experiences.
We however restructured the programme for the second batch into a single 10 day workshop, based on the feedback and also on our need to make the training a sustainable event in the future.
 
Objectives
Participants learn about adolescent health needs, covering a broad range of health issues including education, reproductive and sexual health and psychosocial health.
The Training Program on Intervention includes:
  • Assessment of adolescent needs with focus on health concerns such as, reproductive health, sexual orientation, decision- making, conflict resolution, peer and family relationships and educational needs.
  • Participants will learn how to assess adolescent health, provide counseling for health problems.
  • Intervention methods in different family setting.
  • School based interventions such as peer educator networks.
Through a yearlong supervised project, the learning process will extend from the classroom into the field.
    REACH has already conducted the workshop for two batches. Here is a brief summary of the last one held in July '03.
    The resource centre conducted the second batch of the training programme on "Working with Teenagers" between 21st - 31st July 2003 at Goa. This 10 day programme was attended by 18 participants from various parts of the country. The Participants learnt about adolescent health needs, covering a broad range of health issues including school related problems, reproductive, sexual and psychosocial health. Participants also learnt how to assess, counsel, work with them in groups and how to intervene in family and school settings.
    The training also had a component on practical work, which is to be done by the participants in their field settings. A follow up was being maintained with all the participants through an e-group called "healthforteens2003".
 
B) A TRAINING PROGRAMME ON RESEARCH METHODS IN ADOLESCENT HEALTH
This began as a one-year program for training in research methods in adolescent health. The program involved two residential workshops of 1 week each. The first workshop is an intensive workshop covering adolescent health needs, principles of quantitative and qualitative research methods and data management. This was followed by a one year, small project in which the participant implements a research project in his or her own work setting, with distance-based supervision. The second workshop allows for the participants to learn data analysis and writing of scientific papers and to share findings with other participants.
     We however restructured the programme for the second batch into a single 10 day workshop, based on the feedback and also on our need to make the training a sustainable event in the future.
 
Objectives
Participants learn quantitative and qualitative research methods, ethical issues in research, how to develop a research question, and an appropriate research study design.
The Research Training Programme includes:
  • Developing research questions and selecting appropriate epidemiological study designs
  • Integrating qualitative and quantitative methodologies
  • Writing proposals for research grants
  • Ethical issues in research including procedures for approval
  • Development of interviews and questionnaires for research
  • Managing, analyzing and interpreting data