Technology solutions help monitor and run youth campaign for tobacco control
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Sambandh Health Foundation, Gurgaon, India
Publication date: 2021-09-02
Corresponding author
Pransu Rana   

Sambandh Health Foundation, Gurgaon, Haryana, India
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A238
Typically tobacco users start in the age group 13 to 20 years and once addicted find it very difficult to quit – the quit rate in India is less than 5%. The Pledge for Life Campaign – tobacco free youth is focused on getting youth to participate in anti-tobacco activities which leads to protecting them from initiating tobacco. To start with school students take an anti-tobacco pledge. Monitoring and reporting from thousands of schools was a challenge since there is a tendency to over-report activities.

To develop a technology solution which would enable monitoring of the actual activities conducted and help ensure that large numbers of schools actually did it.

A mobile application (app) was developed whereby anti-tobacco videos or presentations could be distributed to schools and their activities reported. Education Departments sent out circulars to all government and government aided schools to download videos, do the activity and then report it on the app. After conducting the activity, the Heads of institutions were to give their school details, number of students participating and upload two pictures of the event on the App. At the back end the pictures could be used to verify if the numbers reported were correct. The compliance data was also evaluated in real-time and the sub-district and district-wise data used to drive the campaign. Thus District Education Officers were given daily updates on the level of compliance in their district. This prompted them to focus attention on areas where compliance was low.

Campaigns were run in 8 districts of Maharashtra where about 20000 and 2.6 million students participated. In Assam about 18000 schools and 1.5 million students took the pledge. A campaign for colleges was also run in Maharashtra where more than 909 colleges and 150000 students participated

Using technology effectively can tobacco control campaigns successful.

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