Public Health Communication

Current efforts by the Health Promotion Division on COVID-19

Social media engagement for awareness on COVID-19 disease: The Health Promotion Division of PHFI is undertaking series of social media activities on prevention and management aspect of COVID-19 as part of ongoing ‘Project PaTHWay: Promoting Health and Wellbeing’, with students and teachers from schools and colleges. This project is being funded by the AXA Business Services as part of their CSR. The project is being undertaken in Bengaluru and Pune in collaboration with National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS) and Janaseva Foundation. The programme is ongoing in 20 schools, 4 colleges and 5 workplaces, in Pune and Bengaluru. Some of these ongoing activities are: selfies sharing by students, teachers/faculty members with interesting message and activities that they have been doing at home during the lockdown (, video making contest, mask making at home, social media activities on World No Tobacco Day, 2020 on ‘Tobacco and COVID-19’. We have also developed presentation on Coronavirus and Covid-19 Disease, collating evidence-based information available on websites such as World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. The presentation also consisted of some interesting activities which students can perform with their family members, during lockdown. This presentation was sent to our network of schools and colleges in Pune and Bengaluru. Teachers and faculty members are using this presentation and resources during their online academic classes with students.

Planned Activities as part of Project PaThWay: Apart from these, we have also planned COVID-19 relief activities in collaboration with Janaseva Foundation and NIMHANS, including free distribution of grocery kits and cooked meals to poor families with no income, in Pune and Pune district; free distribution of masks and sanitizers to the Senior Citizens staying at Old Age Home (OAH) and destitute children, distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), masks and Sanitizers to the frontline health workers, engaged in COVID activities with NIMHANS (Bengaluru).
COVID-19 relief campaign organized in June 2020

Study to assess the impact of the national lockdown on tobacco consumption: The Health Promotion division in collaboration with HRIDAY and University of Edinburgh is undertaking a study to generate evidence to support policy and practice to address tobacco use during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. This study is being funded by University of Edinburgh’s Scottish Funding Council Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) to enable research partnerships to advance international development focussed research on Covid-19. We will be conducting telephonic survey with 800 tobacco users, both smokers and smokeless users. The survey aims to: understand the levels of knowledge, attitudes and responses to public health advice about preventing the spread of COVID-19; investigate physical, mental, social and economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic on tobacco users and their families and; examine the relationship between Covid-19 and tobacco use.

Project iPROMISe (PROMoting Health Literacy in School) is an ongoing school-based initiative with aim to promote an enabling and supportive environment among children and adolescent to adopt healthy living practices. The project is being implemented by PHFI in collaboration with World India Diabetes Foundation (WIDF). Under the project, a comprehensive module comprising of interactive activities and short films (Audio-Visual module) focusing on importance of healthy diet and being physically active were developed following Health Belief Model (HBM). Given the current COVID crisis and extended period of virtual teaching in schools, we are planning to translate interventions for virtual platforms (including online sessions, competitions and development of mobile based application) for disseminating the preventive messages to influence both home and school environment. Links of audio-visual short films developed as part of project i-PROMIse has also been shared with schools. Additional reinforcing audio-visual messages are being developed for dissemination through social media platform.

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