IAP launches ACE 10/10 - healthcare initiative for adolescents

The Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) today launched ACE 10/10, a major healthcare initiative aimed at adolescents. The initiative will focus on driving awareness around three key pillars of Health, Nutrition and Vaccination as essential to comprehensive adolescent care.

The ACE 10/10 initiative was jointly unveiled by Dr. Pramod Jog (IAP President 2016), Dr. Anupam Sachdeva (IAP President Elect 2016) and Dr. Bakul Parekh (IAP Secretary 2016).

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Pramod Jog, said, "With 1 in 5 people in India being adolescents, there is a need is to ensure that the foundations laid during adolescence are strong enough as they are the future of the country. While what happens during the early years of life impacts adolescents' health and development, what takes place during the adolescent period affects health during the adult years and even influences the wellbeing of the next generation. Paediatricians play an important role as trusted advisors to parents, and we believe that they can be key drivers of change in the society. IAP is proud to launch a comprehensive program that will catalyse the collective strength of paediatricians as key influencers to effect an impactful change in the health and well-being of adolescents as a significant segment of our society."

"Adolescence is one of the most beautiful and poignant phases of one's life, yet it is also one of the most difficult and turbulent phases. It is a time of growth, experience, and fulfilment associated with leaps and falls; a period when new relationships are made and old ones tested and strengthened. This is precisely that time when the individual yearns to touch the sky, rebels and also starts risk-behaviour with serious consequences. Pediatricians, as gatekeepers, have the pleasant responsibility of making this journey better and easier for both the teens and their parents and teachers by empowering them. Pediatrician can be that someone whom adolescents can trust and confide in, someone who can guide and is non-judge-mental. And to accomplish this task we need to equip ourselves," Dr. Jog added.

India has the world's largest adolescent population with around 236.5 million population in the adolescent age group of 10-19 years. The ACE 10/10 initiative aims to create 'Adolescent Ambassadors' in the paediatrician community across each state for influencing the care and health needs of adolescents. The program will impart training to paediatricians across all the states with a view to impacting the well-being of adolescents in the country.

Expressing concerns about the neglect of adolescent healthcare in the country, Dr. Jog said "Overlooking the health of adolescents is a key reason for unmet goals in the area of adult health. Adolescence is a significant opportunity to improve the health of a child in the second decade of his life. I am happy that IAP has come forward to design such an initiative to address healthcare concerns among adolescents while suggesting preventive measures to help protect them from diseases. Healthy, educated adolescents will grow into a resource pool of valuable individuals with the potential to contribute to the betterment of their families, communities and country."

Under the program, paediatricians will be trained on providing standard care for adolescents across three pillars - Health, Nutrition and Vaccination. The program will focus on encouraging paediatricians to educate parents on the importance of comprehensive adolescent care, including ensuring the completion of vaccination as a means to protect them from some critical diseases.

The ACE 10/10 program will be rolled out starting March by the Indian Academy of Paediatrics.

The ten behaviours that the ACE 10/10 program recommends for parents:

  1. Encourage eating wholesome breakfast
  2. Discourage foods high on sugar, fat and salt to avoid weight gain
  3. Instill habit of having at least 6-8 glasses of water or fresh juices
  4. Ensure regular sound sleep of 8 hours ; discourage sleeping too much or too little
  5. Monitor school performance and studies every day
  6. Be observant of change in the behaviors; ensure communication & use teachable moments
  7. Know and stay connected with the friends
  8. Ensure 3 visits to the Paediatrician at the 10th year for physical and psychological check-up and then yearly visits to monitor growth and development
  9. Vaccinate boys and girls with Tdap vaccine
  10. Vaccinate girls at 10 years with HPV vaccine

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