Self-help groups

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Self-help Groups in SUNI-SEA

The contribution of self-help groups to prevention and control of hypertension and diabetes will be an important part of the research, because they link NCD prevention and management to social security and poverty reduction. Recently, the Lancet Taskforce for NCD and economics has underlined the importance of this linkage.

Intergenerational self-help club (ISHC) in Vietnam or inclusive self-help group (ISHG) in Myanmar are community-based solidarity groups aiming at an active and healthy ageing. Intergenerational self-help clubs’ health activities include social connections (mental health), regular health awareness (Communicable Diseases and Non-Communicable Diseases), monthly health screening, bi-annual health check-up, promotion of health insurance uptake, and community-based homecare service for those most in need. To guarantee long-term impact and reach of Intergenerational self-help clubs’ healthy and active ageing activities, the clubs work closely with the local government health clinics and private health service providers, as well as local community and authorities.

Older people’s association – OPA Model

The clubs in Vietnam or groups in Myanmar are commonly known as older people’s association (OPA), a multi-functional community model used by HelpAge International. The groups relate health to the bigger social context of gender equality and social security for effective prevention measures in hypertension and diabetes. OPAs aim to prevent and reduce the impact of NCDs by 1) promoting healthy and active ageing, 2) encouraging healthy lifestyle awareness and practice, 3) conducting regular health screening and management of NCDs, 4) improving access to treatment and care.

For the purposes of this project, topics related to health, including gender, will be the primary focus. Since HelpAge applies the OPA model also in African countries, lessons learned from the SUNI-SEA project could be applied to other continents as well. Learn more about OPA model.