The World Health Organization has defined adolescents as people between the ages of 10 and 19, and it represents one of the critical shifts in a child’s age, and is characterized by a tremendous speed in the pace of its growth and change; So that it is only preceded by the stage of infancy.
So there is 1 person in 6 people in the world in their teens, which means that there are 1.2 billion people between the ages of ten to nineteen.
Most adolescents enjoy good health, yet adolescents suffer a large share of deaths, illnesses and diseases. Diseases can impede adolescents ’ability to grow and develop to their full potential, use of alcohol or tobacco, lack of physical activity, unprotected sex, and / or exposure. Violence, all of which may endanger adolescents’ health at present, not only that; It often affects their health for years to come, and extends the impact to the health of their children in the future.
Promoting healthy practices during adolescence and taking steps to increase the protection of young people from health risks are of critical importance to preventing health problems in adulthood and for the health and social infrastructure of countries in the future.
Here are the main health issues:
Early pregnancy and childbirth
Complications related to pregnancy and childbirth are the second leading cause of death among girls between the ages of fifteen and nineteen globally.
Approximately 11% of all births in the world are made by girls between the ages of fifteen and nineteen, the vast majority of whom live in low and middle-income countries, and according to global health statistics in 2014, the global birth rate among adolescent girls reached 49 births per 1,000 girls in This age, while country rates range from one birth to 229 births per 1,000 girls, indicating a significant decline since 1990, and this decrease is reflected in a similar decline in maternal mortality rates between the ages of 15 and 19.
It is estimated that deaths due to HIV among adolescents are on the rise, and this increase, which occurred mainly in the African region, may reflect the fact that although more children infected with HIV survive and reach adolescence; Not all of them are getting the care and support they need to stay healthy, and to prevent HIV transmission, and in sub-Saharan Africa, only 10% of young men and 15% of young women between 15 and 24 years old know that they have HIV.
Other infectious diseases
Adolescent mortality and disability due to measles decreased dramatically, by 90%, for example, in the African Region between 2000 and 2012, thanks to improved childhood vaccination, but diarrhea, lower respiratory infection and meningitis are still among the top ten causes. Kills teenagers between 10 and 19 years old.
Depression is the primary cause of disease and disability among adolescents, and children and adolescents can be helped to enhance their enjoyment of good mental health, by building their life skills and providing them with psychological and social support in schools and other institutions in society, and it is also important that there are programs that help in strengthening the bonds. Among adolescents and their families; If problems do occur, they should be detected and treated by competent health workers who take care of this matter.
Violence is one of the main causes of death, and it is estimated that 180 adolescents die every day due to interpersonal violence. Among the things that help prevent violence is the promotion of caring relationships between parents and children early in their lives, and the provision of training in life skills, Limit access to alcohol and firearms, and assistance can be provided in dealing with the physical and psychological consequences if adolescent victims of violence receive effective care that shows sympathy for them.
Alcohol and drugs
Harmful use of alcohol in adolescents is a major concern in many countries, and among strategies to reduce harmful use of alcohol are setting a minimum age at which alcohol is allowed to be bought and consumed, and by regulating the ways in which young people are targeted and marketing alcoholic beverages And drug use among adolescents between 15 and 19 years of age is a source of concern.
Unintentional injuries are a major cause of death and disability among adolescents, and in 2012 about 120,000 teenagers died due to accidents on the roads, and there is a recommendation that a gradual licensing system should be applied for new drivers, without tolerance at all in the case of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Drowning is also one of the leading causes of death among teenagers. In 2012, 60,000 adolescents drowned, two-thirds of them males, and teaching children and adolescents to swim is a useful intervention to prevent drowning.
Malnutrition and obesity
Many boys and girls in developing countries reach adolescence and are undernourished; This makes them more likely to contract disease and die early, and an increasing number of adolescents are overweight or obese in both low- and high-income countries alike.
Exercise and nutrition
Adopting healthy eating and exercising habits at this age are among the foundations necessary to enjoy good health in adulthood, and it is also important for everyone, and children and adolescents in particular, to limit the marketing of foods rich in saturated fats, trans-fats, free sugars or salt, and to provide healthy foods and make them accessible. Opportunities to engage in physical activity.
The vast majority of those who use tobacco today started doing so when they were in their teens, and it is extremely important to prohibit the sale of tobacco products to minors, to increase the prices of these products by raising taxes, to impose bans on tobacco advertising, and to ensure the availability of smoke-free environments, Globally, at least one in 10 young adolescents “between 13 and 15 years” consumes tobacco, but there are regions where this number is much higher, and cigarette smoking appears to be decreasing among yo