Coming of age: adolescent health
24 September 2018 -- The world now has more young people than ever before – of the 7.2 billion people worldwide, over 3 billion are younger than 25 years, making up 42% of the world population. Around 1.2 billion of these young people are adolescents aged between 10 and 19 years. Adolescence is a critical time of life. It is a time when people become independent individuals, forge new relationships, develop social skills and learn behaviours that will last the rest of their lives. It can also be one of the most challenging periods. "Coming of age" examines these issues facing adolescents.
New quality of care standards to save lives and improve the health of children and young adolescents
24 April 2018 -- In 2016 an estimated 6.6 million children and young adolescents died, mostly from preventable causes. Evidence shows that gaps in the quality of care contribute to complications and deaths among children. To address these gaps WHO and partners have produced new quality of care standards to improve both the provision and experience of care and call for health facilities to create a child- and young adolescent-friendly environment.
11 October 2017 – WHO joins individuals, communities and organizations worldwide in marking this year’s International Day of the Girl Child. This event commemorates the importance of gender equality and human rights for the well-being and health of girls and young women everywhere. It recognizes that empowering girls to achieve their full potential is also essential for their families and for their societies.
12 August 2017 -- This year's International Youth Day takes the theme of “Youth Building Peace”. Today’s generation of youth (defined by the UN as persons aged 18 through 29) is the largest the world has ever known and as such will have a major role in shaping the world of tomorrow. To this end, youth need to be actively engaged and invited to participate in the design and development of research and programmes that affect them. This was recognised by the UN Security Council in its 2015 resolution urging Member States to increase representation of youth in decision-making at all levels. Whilst the resolution focused primarily on global security, it is equally relevant for health.
16 May 2017 -- More than 3000 adolescents die every day from largely preventable causes, according to a new report from WHO and partners. Global accelerated action for the health of adolescents (AA-HA!): Guidance to support country implementation – assists governments in what to do – as well as how to do it – as they respond to the health needs of adolescents in their countries. Case studies show that what is being recommended actually can be done. The full document with case studies, a summary document, a comic book, brochure and infographics are available below.
May 2016 -- The largest generation of adolescents in human history (1.2 billion) face unprecedented social, economic, and cultural change according to a new Lancet Report: Our Future: A Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing. The Report and related Commission bring together perspectives from public health, economics, political and social science, behavioural science and neuroscience to consider strategies to advance adolescent health and wellbeing, and call for adolescents themselves to be part of the change and accountability mechanisms.
October 2015 -- New Global standards for quality health-care services for adolescents have been published by WHO and UNAIDS. Existing health services often fail the world’s adolescents (10-19-year-olds). Many adolescents who suffer from mental health disorders, substance use, poor nutrition, intentional injuries and chronic illness do not have access to critical prevention and care services.
Video messages on adolescent health from WHO's leadership
WHO leaders speak on topics including alcohol use, diet and physical exercise, HIV/AIDS, mental health, pregnancy, road injury prevention, vaccination, violence and injuries and sexual and reproductive health.
"Health for the world’s adolescents" is a dynamic, multimedia, online report. It describes why adolescents need specific attention, distinct from children and adults. It presents a global overview of adolescents’ health and health-related behaviours, including the latest data and trends, and discusses the determinants that influence their health and behaviours.
It reflects the achievements in developing the evidence base for action and touches on new interventions, new research and new delivery mechanisms. It also features adolescents’ own perspectives on their health needs.
What is the global situation?
What is WHO doing?
Epidemiology, monitoring and evaluation
Stories from countries
The invisible boys and girls: Understanding barriers to accessing healthcare among disadvantaged Nigerian youth
Implementation in countries of Global standards for quality of health-care services for adolescents
Protecting adolescents with HPV vaccine
News on adolescent health
Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health: year in review 2017
Global AA-HA! Support to country adolescent health programmes through regional workshops
Tenfold increase in childhood and adolescent obesity in four decades: new study by Imperial College London and WHO
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Quick facts on adolescent health
- Standards for improving the quality of care for children and young adolescents in health facilities
- Guideline: implementing effective actions for improving adolescent nutrition
- WHO recommendations on adolescent health
- Programme reporting standards for sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health
- Global Accelerated Action for the Health of Adolescents (AA-HA!): guidance to support country implementation
- MCA progress report 2014-15