A study has found that health education on non-communicable diseases imparted to teachers could have a cascading effect on students.
As many as 1,000 teachers from two high schools in Chennai and Tiruvallur districts were selected for the project. Each teacher, in turn, was instructed to educate 100 high school students.
The training was held at the School Education Directorate in Chennai and the headquarters training centre in the district.
The project, funded by World Diabetes Foundation, Denmark, was carried out by India Diabetes Research Foundation and Dr. A. Ramachandran’s Diabetes Hospitals.
The teachers were introduced to basic facts on diabetes and healthy lifestyle.
Evaluation of the level of knowledge on diabetes among teachers was assessed before and after the training.
The teachers were expected to impart the knowledge to 100 high school students within three months and return to the training centres for impact evaluation through a questionnaire.
Though only 30% of teachers returned for the impact evaluation, it was obvious that the training brought about a tremendous change in the perception of trained individuals about health and to those to whom the knowledge was imparted, Dr. Ramachandran, one of the authors of the study, said.
The evaluation found that the training had changed the health perception of 93.7% of the teachers and 76.3% adopted healthy dietary habits.
When it came to teaching the students, the study found that 65.6% of teachers emphasised the importance of reducing use of fat and fried foods and 74.2% wanted students to increase physical activity.
More than half the teachers felt there was a need to raise awareness on healthy lifestyle.
Source: The Hindu