The Community Health Awareness and Action Promoted by Young Adults programme provided solutions for the reduction of child mortality and improvements in maternal health. The programme was implemented by the Aga Khan Health Services from 2005 to 2010 in 83 villages of Junagadh District in the state of Gujarat. It reached nearly 150,000 women of reproductive age and children. The programme mobilised communities and other stakeholders by forming over 100 health action groups, community health promoters and village health committees.
The impact of these programmes included full immunisation coverage of children, a substantial increase in institutional deliveries, an increase in the number of regular ante-natal care visits, better understanding of newborn childcare, breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices among mothers, improved community understanding of hygiene and sanitation practices and higher use of contraceptives among married women in the project area.
Underscoring AKDN’s cross-sectoral approach, the Aga Khan Foundation also provides adolescent health and life-skills education as part of its education programmes in Bihar, Hyderabad and Uttar Pradesh. Using a curriculum, developed by AKF with technical inputs from AKES, adolescent girls in particular are taught how to cope with the daily challenges they face through modules focused on self-identity and esteem, working with peers, biological and emotional changes, and reproductive and sexual health issues.