Adolescence  is a transitional stage of physical and mental human development that occurs between childhood and adulthood. This transition involves biological , social, and psychological changes, though the biological or physiological ones are the easiest to measure objectively. During the transition from childhood to adulthood, adolescents establish patterns of behavior and make lifestyle choices that affect both their current and future health. Adolescents and young adults are adversely affected by serious health and safety issues. They also struggle to adapt behaviors that could decrease their risk of developing chronic diseases in adulthood—behaviors, Environmental factors such as family, peer group, school, and community characteristics also contribute to the challenges that adolescents face.

Adolescent Chapter of Indian Academy of Pediatrics has been trying to take care of the huge population in India those fall between the age of childhood and adult. Opening up a new specialized Post Graduate course in Medical Study curriculum is another aim of the Chapter.

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AHA Activity Report 2014

In 2014, Adolescent Health Academy reached out to over 25000 adolescents, 4000 parents, 120 teachers, 250 community health workers and counsellors, 100 nurses and 625 paediatricians throughout the country. Various activities were organised by AHA branches and its members in schools, slums, hospitals and community health centres including family life education sessions, life skill classes, health camps, rallies, quizzes, essay and drawing competitions and CME sessions. AHA members also contributed to over 100 articles in leading national and local dailies, participated in 14 TV programs, 1 webinair and 1 radio program.

Report from AHA Branches

Delhi AHA

· Delhi branch of AHA was installed on 11 May 2014 at Kalawati Saran Children’s Hospital. Dr JS Tuteja, Dr Swati Bhave, Dr Sangeeta Yadav, Dr Harish Pemde, Dr Anjali Saxena and other eminent faculties participated in an update on Adolescent Health attended by 99 pediatricians.

· On 13 July 2014, a workshop was conducted at BLK speciality hospital that was attended by 85 delegates.

· Dr Harish Pemde, Dr Ravi Gupta, Dr Srikanta Basu and Dr K Sharada are resource persons for National Level Training of Trainers on Adolescent Friendly Health Services under Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakaram

Chennai Branch

· In July 2014, Dr Latha Ravichandran conducted a session on ‘Approach to Adolescents’ for 24 post graduate students at Sri Ramachandra Medical College.

· In July and August 2014, Dr Manu took 3 interactive sessions for over 200, 7th to 10th std students on common health issues and study skills through games, quiz and role plays.

· Dr Rajmurali conducted a life skill program for 10 adolescents of an orphanage.

· On 31 July 2014, Dr Latha and Dr Padmasani conducted an orientation program for 1200 1st year MBBS graduates and 40 faculty members on common teen issues.

· On 1st August, Dr Latha took a life skill session for 240 undergraduate students of Chettinand University. Dr Babu conducted a health camp for 159 teenagers of Krishna Matriculation School.

Pune Branch

· Dr Pramod Jog and Dr Vaishali Deshmukh took 4 parenting sessions for over 100 parents of teenagers called ‘Palakancishala’ (School for Parents) tackling different issues like growing up, stress, study skills and discipline.

· In January, February and March 2014, Dr Vaishali Deshmukh took 4 school sessions on teen issues for 300 adolescents and 100 parents.

· Dr Vaishali has been writing a weekly column called ‘Open Up’ on teen issues since January 2014 in Loksatta Marathi Daily. Her paper titled ‘Knowledge and Attitude about growing up changes- An intervention study’ was published in Pediatric Oncall journal in July-September 2014 issue.

· Dr Shailaja Mane is the course coordinator for a 1year post doctoral course in Adolescent Pediatrics recognised by DY Patil University. She conducted many health camps and awareness talks for adolescents in schools and community health centres along with Dr Sharad Agarkhedkar and other faculty members of DY Patil Medical College in Pimpri reaching out to over 500 adolescents. She has also published 2 articles on adolescent health in a leading Marathi daily.

Agra Branch

· On 26th April 2014, Dr JS Tuteja and Dr NC Prajapati took a session for 40 pediatricians on Adolescent Sexuality and Spirituality and Suicidal tendency respectively. This meet was extensively covered by the press.

Gwalior Branch

· From February to September 2014, AHA Gwalior reached out to over 800 adolescents, 450 parents and 27 teachers of 3 schools in Gwalior. Dr Mukul Tiwari took 5 sessions, Dr Rashmi Gupta 3 sessions, Dr PV Arya and Dr Sneha Gadker 2 sessions each, Dr Rahul Sapra and Dr Praveen Mittal 1 session each. Topics included common adolescent issues, counselling, hygiene, basic life support and positive parenting techniques. The sessions were covered extensively by the local media.

Surat Branch

· On 6th June 2014, Dr Sushma Desai took a session on adolescent health issues for 20 AHA members.

  • On 19th and 20th July 2014, Dr Sushma Desai, Dr Kamlesh Parekh, Dr Salim Hirani and Dr Ketan Bharadva participated as faculty in a very successful conference called ‘Parenting for Peace’ organised in association with local police department. They reached out to hundreds of parents, NGOs, psychologists and social workers.

· Interactive family life education sessions were taken for over 1000 adolescents and 450 parents in 4 schools in August 2014 by Dr Sushma Desai, Dr Salim Hirani, Dr Swati Vinchurkar and Dr Premal Shah.

Nagpur Branch

  • On 17th July 2014, Dr Tejas Golar from Australia addressed 40 AHA members on adolescent psychiatric disorders.

· In April and May 2014, Dr Abhijit Bharadwaj, Dr Rajan Patil, Dr Shubhada Khiwardkar, Dr Gawande, Dr Manjugiri and Dr Deoghare conducted sessions for 90 health workers working in tribal areas on life skills and also trained them in counselling skills.

· Dr Rajiv Mohta, Dr Abhijit Bharadwaj, Dr Tejas Golar, Dr Patil, Dr Kotwal, Dr Deoghare, Dr Shivalkar, Dr Manju Giri, Dr Kaduskar, Dr Upadhya and Dr Uday Bodhankar conducted interactive sessions for 1850 students, 31 parents and 70 teachers in 9 different colleges, schools and orphanages. Topics included drug abuse, media addiction, depression, suicide, life skills, road safety, relationships, lifestyle disorders and media literacy.

· The Nagpur AHA branch also conducted a drawing competition on road safety and a quiz on nutrition for teenagers.

Bangalore Branch

  • On 7th March 2014, Bangalore AHA branch in collaboration with Dr SM Prasad of Ambedkar Medical College conducted a CME on Adolescent Health that was attended by 200 doctors.

· It also conducted 3 academic meetings in 2014 on acne, sports injuries and eating disorders respectively. Each meeting was attended by 15 to 20 AHA members.

· Dr Preeti Galagali, Dr Chandrika Rao, Dr Somashekar, Dr Prema, Dr Vimochana, Dr Sumitha Nayak and Dr Geeta Patil reached out to 3500 adolescents and 50 parents in 14 schools (both private and government), colleges and residential homes. They conducted interactive sessions on stress management, life skills, common adolescent health issues, menstrual issues, nutrition, suicide and personal hygiene.

· Dr Preeti Galagali took a session on Adolescent Counselling for 50 counsellors.

· 3 school sessions were conducted by Dr Hema Sharma for 60 teachers on adolescent health issues.

· Dr Prema conducted an essay competition for 200 teen girls on advantages of breast feeding. Health camp was conducted by Dr Prema for screening 200 teenagers of a residential school for underprivileged for anemia and mental health disorders.

· Bangalore Adolescent Health Academy has adopted 2 schools for the underprivileged at Bangalore for conducting Life Skill Education Sessions throughout the year for high school students.

· Dr Anuradha published 35 articles related to common teen issues in a weekly column in Bangalore Mirror newspaper. Dr Preeti Galagali was the faculty on a webinair on adolescent health that was transmitted to 4000 pediatricians. Dr Chandrika Rao discussed adolescent issues on a premier TV channel, Uday TV and Dr Prema spoke over FM radio on teen issues. Dr Preeti Galagali’s articles on adolescent health and study skills were published in 2 medical books respectively. Dr Vimochana’s article on government school health programs was published in Sikshana Varthe. Dr Sonia Kanitkar’s case report on pornography was published in Current Medical Journal.

Kerala State Branch

  • On 2nd January 2014, Mission Kishore Uday was successfully conducted for 288 adolescents, 95 parents and 33 doctors at N.Parur. The faculty included Dr Venkiteswaran, Dr Jeeson Unni, Dr Newton Luis, Dr Yamuna and Dr Ashok.

· Dr Venkiteswaran took 11 sessions in schools to cover over 1000 adolescents on life skills, personal hygiene and other teen health issues.

· The adolescent friendly school project was stared jointly with Sadgamya project under MLA VD Satheesan and 9 schools were identified for conducting monthly FLE classes. Dr Venkiteswaran, Dr Ashok and Dr Vineetha take these classes.

· Teen Club was inaugurated at SN Institute of Technology by Dr Venkiteswaran.

· Dr Venkiteswaran took 2 sessions on adolescent parenting for 200 parents and on premarital counselling for 40 girls. His article on life skills was published in Malayalam daily Mathrubhumi. He also appeared on TV for a program on teen health issues.

· In 2014, Dr Beena Johnson reached out to 2350 parents in 11sessions . She covered topics like role of parents in personality development, effective parenting, teen conflicts and managing specially abled teens.

· Dr Beena took interactive sessions for 1300 adolescents in 8 schools and colleges on study skills and teen issues. She also addressed NCC cadets on life skills. She took a session on autism for 100 nursing students.

· 2 articles written by Dr Beena on study skills and learning problems were published in the IMA Malayalam weekly.

· In 2014, Dr Newton Luis conducted 7 school sessions for 1350 adolescents covering topics like sexuality, teen health, lifestyle disorders and hygiene.

· Dr Newton addressed 100 pediatricians on ‘masculinity’. He took public lectures that were attended by 350 delegates on sexuality and sleep issues in adolescents. He also trained 90 counsellors as a part of Nirbhaya project.

· Dr Newton has 8 publications in local newspaper and monthly magazines in 2014 on various teen issues.

  • On 28th September 2014, Dr TP Jayaraman and his team conducted the 10th Kerala State Adolescon. It was a well organised conference with reputed national faculty.

Report from AHA Members

Dr Himabindu

In association with Government of Andhra Pradesh, Dr Himabindu, nodal officer YUVA, conducted many academic training programs for public health professionals on various adolescent issues. She also organised rallies, health camps and community awareness programs at YUVA, the premier centre for adolescent health at Niloufer Hospital, Hyderabad.

· 74 outreach activities were conducted in various places such as communities, slums, schools from Jan 2014 to May 2014 in which 6191adolescents participated.

· Dr Himabindu conducted training and awareness programs on anemia in association with Nandi foundation (NGO).

· Adolescents from St. Josephs High school were addressed on sexuality issues from 15th April to 26th April 2014. 1258 adolescents participated in 6 batches. This program received a good feedback from adolescents, teachers and parents. Special activities and competitions were conducted at various schools, community health centres, slums and at YUVA. 865 adolescents participated in these activities in March 2014. Senior Pediatricians namely Dr.P.S.Murthy, Dr. Devraj, Head of the institute ICH and Dr.Ravi Kumar, Dr Sri Krishna, secretary IAP TCB graced the occasion.

· State level rally was conducted on raising awareness regarding adolescent health on 14th February 2014. Nearly 400 Adolescents participated in this rally. District level rally was conducted on 24th January 2014 at Karmikanagar slum in which 400 adolescents participated to create awareness in the community about the importance of girl child and rights of the girl. The rally was flagged of by Project Director Mrs. Laxmi, WDCW and other local community leaders.

Dr Atul Kanikar

Dr Atul Kanikar organised an elaborate and extensive peer educator program at the West zone YUVA-FOGSI conference (11th-14th September 2014) at Nasik, Maharashtra. In 2014, he also took sessions for teachers and ‘rescued’ trafficked adolescent girls on various adolescent health issues. He also contributed to a discussion on Sexuality Education as an adolescent health expert in a leading Marathi daily.

Dr Sulekha

Dr Sulekha reached out to over 1500 high school and pre university students of 4 schools and colleges at Puttur, Karnataka on various adolescent mental and physical health issues. All her sessions were well appreciated by the students.

Dr Manju Lata Sharma

Dr Manju Lata Sharma conducted many community health related activities in Bikaner, Rajasthan. She celebrated World Health Day, International Breast Feeding Week, Save the Girl Child Day and conducted family life education classes in schools and community health centres reaching out to 220 adolescents, 110 parents, 30 doctors and 20 teachers. She also addressed the media on importance of adolescence and published an article on adolescent health in a leading Hindi daily, Dainik Jagran. Her poem ‘Teen Diary’ was published in Academy Today.

Dr Ashoo Arora

Dr Ashoo Arora conducted 2 public health talks at Dehradun, Uttarakhand for over 150 adolescents covering topics like puberty, menstrual issues, HIV, hygiene. 12 interviews on various adolescent health related topics featuring Dr Arora were telecast on DD1. He also conducted health camps and talks for adolescents living in slums. He addressed the DRDO officials on adolescent immunisation. He is actively involved in the ARSH helpline set up by the Government of Uttarakhand. He presented a paper on high risk behaviour in adolescence at UP Pedicon. He conducted a drawing program for adolescents featuring their common health concerns.

Dr Kiran Agarwal

Dr Kiran Agarwal participated as a faculty in the International Conference on HumanTrafficking on 3rd and 4th February 2014. She talked on Problems of ‘Common Data base and SOPs’ in the session on
repatriation, rehabilitation and social reintegration of Rescued
Tafficking Victims among SAARC countries. She also actively participated in the session on ‘Recommendations to the Government’.

Dr Sushma Kirtani

Dr Sushma Kirtani from Goa is contributing a weekly article on adolescent health issues in a leading local daily.