Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

New Report Draws Attention to Adolescent Health

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

New Report Draws Attention to Adolescent Health

Article excerpt

A new WHO report calls on countries to pay more attention to the health of people aged 10 to 19 years and provides an overview of the sometimes fragile state of adolescent health around the world, as well as the policies that are needed.

According to Health for the world's adolescents: a second chance in the second decade, depression is the main cause of illness and disability for this age group.

The web-based report, which was released last month, also estimates that worldwide 1.3 million adolescents died in 2012 and that the top three causes of death were: road traffic injuries, HIV/ AIDS and suicide.

In addition to publishing updated estimates for mortality and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) in this age group, the report provides a new synthesis of data on health-related behaviours based on surveys conducted in schools.

It presents new analyses of national health policies, including those on mental health, and the extent to which they pay attention to adolescents. It also looks at how countries can ensure that this key period of life is given adequate attention as they focus on universal coverage of health services.

"The world has not paid enough attention to the health of adolescents," said Dr Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director-General for Family, Women and Children's Health at WHO. …

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