Bone Education Resource Center International Osteoporosis Foundation
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Romania

Name of education programme
Strong Bones Healthy Organism

Originating organisation
Association for Prevention of Osteoporosis in Romania (ASPOR)
Children's Education Group

Contact
Iren Nagy
Association for Prevention of Osteoporosis in Romania
Str Liviu Rebreanu No 31
4300 Tirgu Mures

Tel:40 65 145 171
Fax:40 65 257 009
E-mail:  nagy@netsoft.ro

Description of the programme
The preliminary part of the programme, carried out in 2000, was a study to assess the daily calcium intake of children aged 6-19 years. This was done via 6000 questionnaires. The results showed: 37% of children didn't consume any kind of milk daily, 31% drank only one cup of milk, 58% didn't consume cheese regularly and 71% eat fish less than once a week. The conclusion was that almost 70% of school children do not receive the necessary amount of calcium. In addition, in the group of 15-19 year-olds 18% were smokers and 20% drank alcohol. On World Osteoporosis Day in 2000, teachers and the media were alerted to these alarming facts. Following this research, a two-stage programme is being developed.

Stage 1 is an educational campaign in schools to promote milk drinking in schools as 'fashionable'. The findings of the questionnaires are presented at routine meetings of teachers and parents organised by regional educational departments and school directors. To support these presentations, leaflets and a video are currently in production.

Stage 2 is the provision of milk products in schools at lower than supermarket prices. This is supported by a regional milk company which delivers milk to schools. Schools need to have adequate storage and a number of volunteers to sell the milk and arrange payment to the milk company. The volunteers also spend time with the children discussing the importance of diet.

Is the programme still running?
Stage 1 has been undertaken in three large schools and will be expanded to more schools in September, when a video will be available. Stage 2 is still in development.

Target audience
Girls aged 10-19
Boys aged 10-19

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

What worked well
The enthusiasm of teachers and the help of the regional educational departments have been very important in getting this programme off to a good start.

What didn't work well
This experience shows that simple conferences don't have any impact on the children.

Type of information and material available
Leaflets (in preparation)
Video (in preparation)

Are you willing to provide material and advice to other IOF members?
Yes, as soon as they are ready.

Languages in which the material is available
Romanian
Hungarian

Budget
US$200 (for the video)
All work is being undertaken by volunteers.

Corporate sponsors
Muresul SA – a regional milk company

Other partners
Not yet

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

Is the programme suitable for other countries?
The video would be suitable for any country. Other parts of the programme would be particularly suited to poorer countries.

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