Why school students

Why school students?

India has the highest disease burden of any country in the world. We have low life expectancy as compared to developed countries as well as many of our neighbors. Life expectancy in India is only 70 years, whereas in Japan, it is almost 84 years. Life expectancy is the average lifespan of an individual. It is not only desirable to lead a long life, but more important that we maintain good health during the lifespan. Healthy life expectancy (HALE) is the average number of years that a newborn can expect to live in “full health”; not hampered by disabling diseases or injuries. HALE in India is only about 60 years compared to almost 75 years in Japan. India is losing 6% of its GDP due to premature death and preventable diseases.
To reduce disease burden and improve life expectancy as well as HALE, there are two strategic solutions. Treatment of diseases/injuries or their Prevention. We need both strategies in India. Unfortunately, most of the present focus is on Treatment of diseases/injuries. This presents several challenges including the high cost of treatment and lack of accessibility to quality care. Prevention of diseases and injuries is a much more effective strategy. Each individual needs to develop healthy lifestyle habits. The challenges to implement this strategy in adults is that:
The greatest opportunity is to promote healthy lifestyles in children. They will maintain these healthy habits throughout their life and allow each child to reach their full potential.
To promote healthy lifestyle habits, we need a comprehensive health school health program and curriculum which includes topics on physical, mental and social health as well as life skills. The comprehensive health education curriculum should be taught daily in every grade by well trained staff.
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