alexa Protecting the Health of Indian Preschool Children: Experts Inform TV programming of Galli Galli Sim Sim

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Protecting the Health of Indian Preschool Children: Experts Inform TV programming of Galli Galli Sim Sim

This study is part of a multi-year project monitoring the effect of Galli Galli Sim Sim (GGSS), the Indian production of Sesame Street, on child development and health. We aimed to identify health issues facing Indian children and offer recommendations to GGSS. Methods: We conducted in-depth interviews with 203 experts who had experience with 3 to 7 year olds in India. An iterative process of reading, coding, and aggregating data generated broad health themes, which we translated into general and specific recommendations. Results: Results revealed five main health issues facing Indian children, (1) Nutrition, (2) Hygiene, (3) Colds, Coughs, and Fever, (4) Diarrhea, and (5) Vaccinations. Recommendations for creating effective health messages included integrating health into multi-layered content, recognizing the diversity of the viewing audience, and distribution of GGSS through a variety of outlets. Conclusion: Media is a potent medium to educate, model, and broadly disseminate health messages appropriate to young Indian children. Health issues were directly or indirectly related to the social determinants of health, such as poverty, poor education, inadequate health infrastructure, lack of environmental protections, and related co-morbidities. Media, particularly television, can function as an important adjunct to school- and communitybased education, offering even young children powerful and influential messages.

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