Child and adolescent health and development

Adolescent health and development

WHO defines 'Adolescents' as individuals in the 10-19 years age group and 'Youth' as the 15-24 year age group. While 'Young People' covers the age range 10-24 years.

There are about 350 million adolescents comprising about 22% of the population in the countries of the South-East Asia Region (SEAR). Adolescents are not a homeogenous population. they exist in a variety of circumstances and have diverse needs. The transition from childhood to adulthood involves dramatic physical, sexual, psychological and social developmental changes, all taking place at the same time. In addition to opportunities for development this transition poses risks to their health and well being.

WHO has developed Strategic directions for improving adolescent health in South-East Asia Region that proposes 4S Framework to strengthen the response of health sector to adolescent health and development, focusing on Strategic information, Supportive policies, Strengthening services, and Strengthening collaboration with other sectors.

  • Strategic Information: Improving the collection, analysis, interpretation and dissemination of data that are required for advocacy, policies and programmes
  • Supportive evidence-informed policies: Synthesizing, disseminating and contributing to the evidence base for policies (and programmes) that have an impact on the health and development of adolescents
  • Strengthening services for adolescents: Increasing young people's access to, and use of appropriate health services and commodities that respond to a number of priority health conditions
  • Strengthening collaboration with other sectors: Mobilizing and supporting other sectors to maximize their contributions to adolescent health and development, both what they can do to strengthen the health sector response and what the health sector can do to support their actions

Child and Adolescent Health Unit
Department of Family Health Gender and Life Course (FGL)
World Health Organization - SEARO
IP Estate, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, New Delhi, 110 002 India
Tel : +91 11 2337 0804 Ext: 26315 Fax : +91 11 2337 8510
Email : secah@who.int