Why investing in Adolescent Health is important for India?
The 11th World Congress on Adolescent Health organized by the International Association for Adolescent Health will be held in Delhi this year from 27- 29 October . Notably, the world is home to 1.2 billion adolescents, and India has the largest population of teenagers in the world – 253 million. The huge number of adolescents in India makes it a potent host for a global conference. The theme for the conference this year is – “Investing in Adolescent Health – the Future is Now”. The conference is held in every 4 years, and this time India will host it.
Important Issues Related to Adolescents
- The mortality of adolescents globally stands at staggering 1.3 million deaths per year and it is alarming.
- Unintended injuries such as road accidents and drowning are the leading causes of death among adolescents.
- Tobacco, alcohol and other substance use too contribute to health concerns among adolescents (e.g. injuries) and are associated with unemployment, accidents, depression and suicide during adolescence. Yet rather than a passing phase, these behaviours and states risk reverberating across the life-course, contributing to the future burden of disease in adults and to that of the next generation.
Globally, adolescence is demographically dense – a period which encapsulates tremendous change in relation to critical life events such as transitions from education to employment, and formation of families and parenting.
Sustainable Development Goals of 2030
The agenda for Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and the new Global Strategy on Women’s Children’s and Adolescents’ Health have brought adolescence to the centre-stage. These agendas recognize the opportunities and contribution of adolescence to achieving a wide array of global health priorities including improvements in communicable diseases (e.g. HIV) and non-communicable diseases, women’s health, mental health, nutrition, and more.
Essential Details of the 11th World Congress
- The World Congress seeks to cover topical themes through discussions in sessions. Main topics will be:
- Global adolescent health: Opportunities and challenge
- Programming for adolescent health in India
- Toward a gendered approach to adolescent health
- Mental Health and Adolescents
The World Congress is anticipating around 800 international and national delegates including adolescent health experts from across the globe.
The World Congress is being organized under the supportive leadership of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India. MAMTA Health Institute for Mother and Child (MAMTA) is the lead organisation that is hosting the World Congress with a consortium of partners including Pathfinder International, Population Foundation of India (PFI), Population Services International (PSI), and The YP Foundation.
“Adolescents need to be at the centre of future investment in health and education for sustainable development”, says Dr. Sunil Mehra, Executive Director, MAMTA Health Institute for Mother and Child.
Professor Susan Sawyer, President, International Association for Adolescent Health, says, “This meeting couldn’t be better timed, as never has there been such global recognition of the importance of advancing the health and wellbeing of adolescents, including in India. IAAH is delighted that the 11th World Congress on Adolescent Health is in the country with the largest number of adolescents in the world. A groundswell of professionals, global partners and young people are coming to Delhi from all over the world to share ideas. The world is looking towards India and we are confident this World Congress will deliver.”
The World Congress will be an ideal platform for networking with global public health practitioners, share learnings from global case studies and successful interventions in adolescent health and policies, and an opportunity to track global policy developments and policy effectiveness in adolescent health. There will be a strong focus on gender norms and human rights.
The World Congress will also conduct Skill Development Workshops on 26th October with participants from around the world.
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