About 1.2 billion people, or 1 in 6 of the world’s population, are teenagers between the ages of 10 and 19.
Most are healthy, but there are premature deaths, illness, and premature injuries among teenagers. Illness can hinder their ability to grow and develop to their full potential. Alcohol or tobacco use, lack of physical activity, unprotected sex and/or exposure to violence can jeopardize their current health, but also their health as adults, and even the health of their future children.
Promoting healthy behaviors during adolescence, and taking steps to better protect young people from health risks is vital for the prevention of health problems in adulthood, and for the health and future capabilities of developing and developing countries.
Major health issues include:
Early pregnancy and childbirth
The main cause of death for girls ages 15-19 worldwide is a complication of pregnancy and childbirth.
About 11% of all births worldwide are for girls aged 15-19, and most of these births are in low- and middle-income countries. The United Nations Population Division places the global juvenile birth rate by 2015 at 44 births per 1,000 girls from this age range ranging from 1 to more than 200 births per 1,000 girls (1). This indicates a marked decline since 1990. This decrease is reflected in a similar reduction in maternal mortality among children ages 15-19.
One of the specific targets of Sustainable Development Objectives (SDG 3) is that by 2030, the world must ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health services, including for family planning, information and education, and reproductive health integration. into national strategies and programs. To support this, a proposed indicator for the Global strategy for women’s health, children and youth is the birth rate of adolescents.
Better access to information and contraceptive services can reduce the number of girls who become pregnant and give birth at a young age. The laws that determine the minimum age of marriage at the age of 18 and upheld can be helpful.
Pregnant girls need access to quality antenatal care. If permitted by law, adolescents who choose to terminate their pregnancy should have access to safe abortion.
More than 2 million adolescents living with HIV. Although the overall number of HIV-related deaths fell by 30% since the 2006 peak estimate suggests that HIV deaths among teenagers continue to rise. These increases, which have been dominated in the WHO African Region, may reflect the fact that although more children with HIV survive to adolescence, they do not get the care and support they need to stay healthy and prevent transmission. In sub-Saharan Africa, only 10% of young men and 15% of young women aged 15 to 24 know their HIV status.
One of the specific targets of Sustainable Development Objectives (SDG 3) is that by 2030 there must be an end to the AIDS epidemic, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases, hepatitis, waterborne diseases and other infectious diseases. Given the high prevalence of HIV in many countries, to achieve this, adolescents need to be central to control efforts.
Young people need to know how to protect themselves and must have the means to do it. This includes getting condoms to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and needles and clean syringes for those who inject drugs. Better access to HIV testing and counseling and stronger links with HIV treatment services for HIV positive people is also needed.
Other contagious diseases
Thanks to better child vaccinations, adolescent death and measles defects have declined significantly – for example, in 90% of Africa between 2000 and 2012. Lower respiratory tract diarrhea and infection are considered the leading causes of death for 10-19 years. Both of these diseases, along with meningitis, are the three causes of teenage death in African low and middle-income countries (LMICs).
Depression is the third leading cause of diseases and disability among teenagers, and suicide is the leading cause of third death in older adolescents (15-19 years). Violence, poverty, humiliation, and feelings are devalued can increase the risk of developing mental health problems.
Building life skills in children and adolescents and providing them with psychosocial support in schools and other community environments can help improve good mental health.