WHA68: Brief on Adolescents' Health

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IFMSA Policy Brief on Adolescents’ Health The IFMSA strongly supports ongoing actions in development of the Framework for accelerating action on adolescents’ health and calls upon all stakeholders to actively participate in the process. Adolescence is a very important stage in the life of every individual and occurrences within this period often have lifelong implications. A total of 70% of preventable adult deaths are linked to risk behaviors that start in adolescence; this is not to be overlooked. Furthermore, investing in adolescent health does not only contribute to the recognition and respect of their rights but it also has great implications in the health, financial and security state of nations. However, the incredibly limited information on adolescent health, specifically on the determinants and interventions in place, is an issue of utmost importance. As mortality and morbidity continue to impact the life of over 1 billion adolescents worldwide, we still lack access to age and gender disaggregated data at national, regional, global levels. This is clearly evident seen in the Health for the World’s Adolescents Report launched in May, 2014 by the WHO. A youth engagement strategy is being developed by WHO in collaboration with IFMSA and other youth organizations to ensure that adolescents and young people are fully involved in shaping and implementing the framework. There is also a commitment to increasing youth capacity to advocate for development and implementation of effective policies and programmes for adolescent health in countries, and strengthen data relevant for the health of adolescents. We are alarmed by the lack of health data on one of the biggest populations alive. IFMSA calls for support from governments, institutions, donors and partners in the development of a scorecard on adolescents’ health to summarize information about the health of adolescents, its determinants and interventions in place, as well as to fill existing gaps in health data aiming to enhance programmes and policies that improve their health. Our priorities as youth and future health professional are to:  Ensure alignment with the updated UN Secretary General's Global Strategy for Women's, Children's and Adolescents' health to foster sustainability and improvement of programmes on adolescent health.  Ensure that youth can actively participate in identifying the needs and gaps on adolescent health, its determinants and interventions at both the community and national levels.  Garner governmental support to partner with grassroots youth organizations to advance adolescent health. Finally as IFMSA we wish for governments, commit to WHO's Framework on Accelerating Action on Adolescents Health, support youth in their participation to identify gaps about their health and collect data and finally facilitate youth led monitoring and accountability of the adolescents health programmes and policies. Contact Kelly Thompson International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA ) Liaison Officer for Reproductive Health, incl. HIV/AIDS Issues (e) lra@ifmsa.org | (w) www.ifmsa.org

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