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A mobile app based solution for implementing tobacco free educational institutions (ToFEI) guidelines
Sanjay Seth 1  
,   Ashima Sarin 1,   Arvind Mathur 1
 
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Sambandh Health Foundation, Haryana, India
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Sanjay Seth   

Sambandh Health Foundation, Haryana, India
Publication date: 2021-09-02
 
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A280
 
KEYWORDS
ABSTRACT
Introduction:
The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India, issued a Revised Guidelines for Tobacco Free Educational Institution on 31st May 2019 with the objective of providing a fresh momentum to tobacco control initiatives among adolescents and young adults and are meant to be used by all Educational Institutions (EIs). The new Guidelines replaced the earlier ones issued in 2008, which had had challenges in implementation. Though the Guidelines prescribed many activities, the main focus is a Scorecard requires 9 activities to be done by each EI. 3 of the activities are “mandatory”. With 1.6 million EIs in India the sheer numbers make implementation of any campaign for EIs a huge challenge.

Objectives:
To develop a methodology for getting the new Guidelines implemented on a mass scale.

Methods:
Sambandh Health Foundation (SHF) developed an approach comprising of two parts (1) a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for physically running the program (ii) A mobile application (App) was to enable each EI to report the activity For the App each activity is conducted so that a picture provides evidence for verification. The picture(s) are uploaded and the app emails a confirmation immediately to the EI. Periodically the Scorecard is emailed to each EI. Compliance records used to monitor and drive the program.

Results:
SHF’s SOPs had earlier been used for implementing only the mandatory activities in over 300000 EIs in various states. The app was tested for one activity in Assam where 18000 schools conducted the activity in which 1.5 million students participated. Pictures from every school verified that the activity had actually been done.

Conclusion(s):
Smartphones are available in every EI and technology can help implement programs conveniently and at low cost.

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