Project HOPE’s MY PLAN
Help Project HOPE empower 1 million youth to adopt healthy habits!
- What are Noncommunicable Diseases?
- What is MY PLAN?
- Project HOPE’s Approach to Noncommunicable Diseases
- Story of HOPE
- Project HOPE + Takeda
What are Noncommunicable Diseases?
Diabetes. Hypertension. Cardiovascular disease. Respiratory diseases. Cancers.
Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), also known as chronic diseases, are responsible for 71% of all deaths globally. NCDs are the world’s #1 killer, claiming the lives of 41 million people each year. To make matters worse, NCDs are growing.
The World Health Organization calls NCDs “the slow motion disaster,” illustrating exactly what makes them so dangerous. NCDs develop over time, fueled by physiological, environment, and behavioral factors. By the time NCDs are detected, it’s often too late to reverse course.
Prevention is key. And adolescence is a pivotal period.
Obesity, inactivity, unhealthy diet, tobacco, and alcohol use are all risk factors for NCDs. And these habits often start in adolescence and continue into adulthood. According to research published in The Lancet, 70% of premature adult deaths are associated with behaviors formed in adolescence. The World Health Organization has called for health programs that target youth.
“As part of the emerging ‘New Power’ crowd, young citizens are more empowered and enthused to participate in shaping their everyday lives, including health, than generations before.”
What is MY PLAN?
MY PLAN is an evidence-based program that teaches adolescents to replace unhealthy habits that cause NCDs with healthier life-affirming behaviors. With encouragement from family, schools, and the community, MY PLAN will create a support network for youth, encouraging them to exhibit leadership, problem solving and advocacy skills for better health.
The MY PLAN program will use peer leaders, group games, and technology to help adolescents develop healthy habits. Peer leaders will also organize community health fairs, teaching them to act as change agents for a healthier community.
Why? Because we believe adolescents can be effective educators and catalysts for a healthier future.
Project HOPE’s Approach to Noncommunicable Disease Programs
Project HOPE works with community, regional, and national partners to implement needs-specific and patient centered interventions to improve health outcomes. Through our NCD programs, we educate and empower health care workers and patients to better manage their diseases. We coordinate with local governments and partners on new health policies. We increase access to equipment and medicines. And we raise awareness to help individuals take control of their health and their future.
MY PLAN was inspired, in part, by Healthy Habits for a Healthy Weight and 5 Steps to Self-Care, two of our signature NCD programs.
Healthy Habits for a Healthy Weight
Between 2007 and 2012, Project HOPE ran a “diabesity” program in Mexico City to teach school children about the link between obesity, type 2 diabetes, and associated health risks, and promoted healthy habits. Over 11,000 children benefited, with most registering improvements in healthy habits, including drinking more water, eating fruits and vegetables, and getting more exercise.
In 2010, Project HOPE implemented Healthy Habits in Delhi, India. The program trained teachers and students, created peer groups, and hosted community outreach activities. Project HOPE reached 5,600 students, with overweight and obesity dropping 5% and 1% percent respectively.
5 Steps to Self-Care
The 5 Steps program helps patients learn to better manage their diabetes. Participants learn about the science behind the disease, and how to monitor and interpret blood glucose, make adjustments, manage foods to balance dietary intake, and develop a habit of regular physical activity. Peer support plays a key role, with recent graduates helping participants adopt behavior changes. Project HOPE piloted the 5 Steps program in Mexico, and has successfully adapted the curriculum for the the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, and Puerto Rico. Last year, 85% of participants in the UAE program improved their well being.
Story of HOPE: The Power of an Integrated Support Network
Ying was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 14 years old. While Ying’s leukemia was not necessarily preventable, his story showcases the importance of a strong support network — a hallmark of many Project HOPE programs. Ying was treated at Shanghai Children’s Medical Center (which Project HOPE helped establish), and now he volunteers at the hospital. He understands the power of peer support, and visits young cancer patients and shares his story to motivate them to in their own battles.
Project HOPE + Takeda
At Project HOPE, we believe in a universal right to be healthy and thrive. We are committed to transforming lives and uplifting communities. And we know that we can do more when we collaborate.
Both Takeda and Shire have been key partners in our efforts. With support from Takeda, we launched the IDEEL program to increase the number of diabetes educators around the world. In collaboration with Shire, we are ensuring that patients in Egypt receive enzyme replacement therapy to treat Gaucher Disease, a rare genetic disease with life-threatening complications.
From our founding in 1958, corporations have played a key role in Project HOPE’s work around the world. The MY PLAN program will be the next step in our partnership with Takeda. As we work to reach 1 million youth and help them create healthy habits, Takeda employees will be a key stakeholder in our success. We will share regular program updates, tips on creating healthy habits, and offer opportunities to participate in local events.
With your help, we can inspire HOPE in youth!