Seine-Saint-Denis launches the first Popular Academy of Health

Posted on Feb 11, 2019 2021 at 11:35

“Together inventing new ways of discussing health, more inclusive and more adapted to the reality of the inhabitants of Seine-Saint-Denis”, this is the objective pursued by the departmental council, which is setting up a project participatory initiative, unprecedented in France: the Popular Academy of Health.

With an excess mortality rate having reached 134% during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the very heavy price paid by Seine-Saint-Denis reminded us of the weight of health inequalities in a department that is similar to a real medical desert, given the weakness of the healthcare supply.

Through this innovative system, funded to the tune of 200,000 euros by the BNP Paribas Foundation, the Department aims to “strengthen preventive actions in the territory” to effectively fight against these disparities in access to health information.

Produce communication tools

For one year, 30 volunteer residents of Seine-Saint-Denis, 20 citizens from various professional backgrounds or looking for work, mainly involved in associations, and ten professionals from the health and medico-social sectors , will undergo training to become “regional health ambassadors”.

“With the Popular Academy of Health, we are making the bet of directly integrating the inhabitants at the heart of health issues, and of relying on their feelings and their experience”, affirms Stéphane Troussel, president of Seine-Saint-Denis .

Once a month, these apprentice volunteers, supervised by experts, will work on various public health themes with the aim of carrying out striking video information campaigns. Content and tools “adapted to the diversity of the dailies of the inhabitants of Seine-Saint-Denis to reach the people furthest from the health care system”, underlines the Departmental Committee for Health Education (Codes 93), which participates in the training of ambassadors.

Deploy awareness actions

The first batch of ambassadors, aged 20 to 79 and from 17 towns in the department, will also have the mission of carrying out, during the year, a health action in their personal environment, on the theme of their choice, with the support of the Academy. They will also be able to participate in the Department’s prevention and health actions, “for example to inform the population about the challenges of vaccination against Covid-19”, details the local authority.

No question of “taking the place of public health actors, reassures Codes 93. But everyone can be a health actor at their own level.” The aim is to promote the development of skills and knowledge of residents in the area of ​​health, then to support them in passing on their knowledge to their network, in particular through awareness-raising actions ”.

Janelle B. Smith

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