Bone Education Resource Center International Osteoporosis Foundation
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Name of education programme
Strong Bones Programme

Originating organisation
Hungarian Osteoporosis Patient Association

Zalatnai Klára
Chief Executive Officer
Hungarian Osteoporosis Patient Association
H-1118 Budapest
Hársmajoru 12

Tel:+36 1 248 12 61
Fax:+36 1 309 53 23

Description of the programme
The aim of the project is to motivate children and young people to adopt a healthy and active lifestyle that supports the growth of strong bones. The target audience is pupils from kindergartens and primary and secondary schools. As a first step, a pilot study was carried out in Budapest at two kindergartens, two primary schools and one secondary school. Four hundred and fifty children took part.

The goal of the pilot study was to assess the children's knowledge and understanding about bones, teeth, growth, nutrition (including calcium intake), exercise, dental hygiene and osteoporosis. Group sessions were carried out by medical doctors from osteoporosis centres following the initial assessment which was conducted via a questionnaire. The doctors then delivered information about bone care to the children. This group work was followed by a second assessment and a drawing competition. The 10 best drawings received awards at a celebration during World Osteoporosis Day 1999 and were also used to create a calendar.

In co-operation with the Milk Product Council of Hungary, materials, based on the experience from the pilot study, started being developed in 2001. The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth and Sport are also supporting the programme. Leaflets, posters, educational material for children, and a music and dance/exercise programme (called Med Skeleton using Irish folk music and step dancing) are in development.

Is the programme still running?

Target audience
Girls aged 4-18
Boys aged 4-18

Has the programme been approved by your scientific advisory committee?
Not yet

What worked well
Secondary school pupils were interested in the programme and were aware of the problems their grandmothers faced.

What didn't work well
It proved difficult to engage all the students regarding taking action now to reduce their susceptibility to osteoporosis in older age.

Type of information and material available
Illustrations, cartoons, graphs

Are you willing to provide material and advice to other IOF members?

Languages in which the material is available


Corporate sponsors
Not yet

Other partners
Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Milk Product Council of Hungary, Ministry of Agriculture

Did the programme use celebrities, role models or mentors?
There was a clown performance associated with the educational programme awards and a contribution by Professor Géza Bálint, the Hungarian co-ordinator of Bone and Joint Decade, at World Osteoporosis Day.

Is the programme suitable for other countries?

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