Bone Education Resource Center International Osteoporosis Foundation
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Pakistan

Name of education programme
Milk Mela

Originating organisation
Osteoporosis Society of Pakistan

Contact
Dr Akhtar Ahmed
President
Osteoporosis Society of Pakistan
66/1, BMCHS
Karachi – 74800

Tel/Fax:  +92 21 4933958
E-mail:osp@doctor.com

Description of the programme
The programme aims to educate children and parents about the importance of calcium intake in childhood in the prevention of osteoporosis. The targeted groups are school children aged between 10 and 12 years. Initially, 10 girls' schools were selected and about 100 students invited, along with their parents, to a 'Milk Mela', held in a children's theme park. The programme included talks by doctors, distribution of free milk, free rides, games with prizes, a painting competition and a debate. The minister of education supported the event and is keenly interested in promoting the issue more widely. It is hoped that the governor of Sindh state will inaugurate the next Milk Mela. The federal agriculture minister has also been approached and it is hoped that the programme can eventually be extended nationwide and attract greater media coverage.

Is the programme still running?
Yes

Target audience
Girls aged 10-12 years

Has the programme been approved by your scientific advisory committee?
Yes

What worked well
Everything went according to plan. Having a programme that involves school children and their parents means that messages can be reinforced at home.

What didn't work well
Unfortunately, it was not possible to tie the event into World Osteoporosis Day because of the late go-ahead from the sponsoring company at which stage it was difficult to attract media interest. It was also exam season – a time of year to be avoided for future events.

Type of information and material available
Not yet prepared.

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

Languages in which the material is available
Eventually, materials should be available in Urdu, English and local languages – the Ministry of Education has promised help with this.

Budget
US$2,500 (estimate)

Corporate sponsors
Nestlé
Another dairy product company has now expressed interest in the programme and it is hoped that further Milk Melas can be planned.

Other partners
Ministry of Education, Government of Sindh
Ministry of Agriculture, Government of Pakistan (for future programmes)

Did the programme use celebrities, role models or mentors?
No

Is the programme suitable for other countries?
Yes

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