Library Health

This report by the Inter Agency Task Team on HIV and Young People (IATT/YP) of which WHO is a member calls attention to young people ages 10-24 within the populations considered most at risk of HIV infection: men who have sex with men, those who sell sex, and those who inject drugs. Despite the growing attention that has been given to programming for these groups, little explicit focus has been given to the needs of young people in these populations. At the same time, efforts to prevent HIV among young people have tended to focus on the general population. As a result, young people in most-at-risk groups are often not targeted in either type of programming. This report is based on the 2nd annual meeting of the IYWG in 2009, which focused on young people most at risk of HIV, and on additional material from literature reviews and field experiences. The paper concludes with suggested actions for addressing the needs of vulnerable and most-at-risk young people.To read the report, please visit here 
 
The document makes the case for concerted action on adolescent health, it explains CAH’s “4S framework” to strengthen the response of the health sector to adolescents, CAH’s systematic approach to scaling up health service provision to adolescents, and the rationale and objectives of CAH’s work in focus countries.
It is intended for staff from other departments in WHO working on health issues of relevance to adolescents (e.g. reproductive health or mental health), staff in WHO’s Regional and Country Offices, staff in other organizations supporting efforts or working themselves to improve the health of adolescents, and policy makers and programme managers in ministries of health.To read the document, please visit here
The Adolescent Job Aid is a handy desk reference tool for health workers (trained and registered doctors, nurses and clinical officers) who provide services to children, adolescents and adults. It aims to help these health workers respond to their adolescent patients more effectively and with greater sensitivity. It provides precise, step-by-step guidance on how to deal with adolescents when they present with a problem or a concern about their health or development.To read the publication, please visit here 
This toolkit presents conceptual and practical information on engaging men and boys in promoting gender equality and health. Specific topics include sexual and reproductive health; maternal, newborn and child health; fatherhood; HIV and AIDS prevention, care and support; and prevention of gender-based violence.To read the toolkit, please visit here 
This Information Brief was developed by WHO’s Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development to support staff of the Organization and other UN agencies working at global, regional and national levels in promoting the uptake of effective interventions to improve the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents through schools in low-income countries. The premise of the Brief is that school-based sexual and reproductive health education is one of the most important and widespread ways to help adolescents to recognize and avert risks and improve their reproductive health. This evidence-based information brief establishes ways in which the health sector can help the education sector provide appropriate information to adolescents about when and why they need to use health services and where these may be available. To read the brief, please visit here
The Quality assessment guidebook: a guide to assessing health services for adolescent clients is part of a set of tools to strengthen programmatic action on adolescent health in countries. It is intended to enable programme managers to assess the quality of health service provision to adolescents, and to take appropriate action where the quality is found wanting. The Guidebook can be used in countries where there are agreed-upon national quality standards, as well as in ones where there are not. It contains a user guide, a set of eight instruments to assess the quality of health services, and a framework for analyzing and reporting on the data collected.To read the guidebook, please visit here
To support the health sector in identifying and implementing a few strategic, do-able, evidence-based interventions to create demand for sexual and reproductive health services by adolescents who need them and to stimulate community acceptance and support for their provision, a global review of the evidence was compiled. Using a standard methodology, evidence from thirty studies was reviewed on interventions for generating demand through the provision of information, education and communication via several different channels.To read the review, please visit here
CAH has worked with front-line organizations in Estonia, Mozambique and South Africa to prepare analytic case studies of three outstanding initiatives that have scaled up the provision of health services to adolescents.  The South African case study is of the Evolution of the National Adolescent Friendly Clinic Initiative which was an integral part of the high profile loveLife programme. The Mozambican case study was of the progress made by the multisectoral Geraçao Biz programme, a key component of which was youth-friendly health services, in moving from inception to large scale. The Estonian case study was that of the nationwide spread of the Amor youth clinic network, led by the Sexual Health Association in that country.To read the case studies, please visit here 
This working paper, based on the work of the Inter-Agency Working Group on Community Involvement in Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health, presents a framework that links community involvement interventions to desired adolescent health outcomes. The publication includes a set of social change indicators as well as several case studies that evaluate relevant programming.To read the paper, please visit here 
In 2005, CAH and the Department of Population and Family Health of Johns Hopkins University undertook a literature review to capture recent research on parenting of adolescents in developing countries and in particular to examine the evidence for specific parenting roles that programmes could aim to promote and improve. Given the importance of parents in adolescents’ worlds, what are the specific ways that they influence adolescent health? In addition, how can we translate that knowledge into actions? WHO convened a meeting in October with researchers and representatives from some projects currently under way in developing countries. A summary of the discussions in the meeting is available in a document entitled Helping parents in developing countries improve adolescents’ health which highlights the importance of parents in preventing adolescent health risk behaviours, the ways in which parents influence these behaviours, and their implications for programmes aiming to improve adolescent health.To read the publication, please visit here
Every ten years, 100 million married adolescents need services and support. Girls’ exposure to early, unwanted sexual activity, early pregnancy, reproductive tract infections (RTIs) and HIV has been widely recognized since the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development. However, many programmes are focused on unmarried adolescents and fail to recognize the huge numbers of girls who are married below the age of 18. The World Health Organization, the United Nations Population Fund and the Population Council convened a Technical Consultation on married adolescents in Geneva in December 2003 to address this gap in understanding and programming. The meeting looked at key messages from research and best practice from programmes and at ways to draw this significant problem to the attention of policy makers and programme planners. This document is one outcome of that meeting. This document looks at what we mean by early marriage, and how, although it is declining around the world, 100 million girls will marry before their 18th birthday over the next ten years. As a result of early marriage, many adolescent girls are having unsafe sex within marriage, with an older and sexually experienced man who may be infected with a sexually transmitted infection, or HIV. It notes how, in many countries, the time gap between getting married and having a first baby is declining. It outlines the risks of too early pregnancy and explores the reasons why families and communities feel under pressure to continue the practice of marrying off their daughters while they are still adolescents.To read the publication, please visit here 
The incidence and prevalence of chronic conditions is rising in most developed and developing countries and will constitute the main cause of death by 2020. Among children, and especially among adolescents, increased life expectancy due to improvements in nutrition, hygiene and control of infectious diseases is producing an epidemiologic transition in which noncommunicable diseases including chronic diseases and disability are emerging as major health problems.The management of any chronic condition during adolescence, a time of rapid growth and physiologic changes accompanied by important individualization and socialization processes, constitutes a major challenge for the individual, his/her family and the health -care team. The purpose of this paper is to present data related to the epidemiology of chronic diseases during adolescence, to review their impact on the bio-psychosocial processes of adolescence and to provide evidence-based suggestions on how to manage young people with chronic conditions in a comprehensive and holistic way.To read the paper, please visit here 

In 2005, CAH and the Department of Population and Family Health of Johns Hopkins University undertook a literature review to capture recent research on parenting of adolescents in developing countries and in particular to examine the evidence for specific parenting roles that programmes could aim to promote and improve. Given the importance of parents in adolescents’ worlds, what are the specific ways that they influence adolescent health? In addition, how can we translate that knowledge into actions? WHO convened a meeting in October with researchers and representatives from some projects currently under way in developing countries. A summary of the discussions in the meeting is available in a document entitled Helping parents in developing countries improve adolescents’ health which highlights the importance of parents in preventing adolescent health risk behaviours, the ways in which parents influence these behaviours, and their implications for programmes aiming to improve adolescent health.To read the document, please visit here

Between 14 million and 15 million girls and young women give birth each year, accounting for more than 10% of births worldwide. Because of concern at high levels of unwanted pregnancy amongst adolescents, and of sexually transmitted infections and HIV and AIDS, many countries have introduced programmes to delay early sexual debut and reduce high levels of adolescent pregnancy. However, adolescent pregnancies are still common, and WHO identified the care of pregnant adolescents and the safe delivery and care of their babies as an area of need which was not being adequately addressed. Adolescents account for 15% of the global burden of disability for maternal conditions, and 13% of all maternal deaths. On 5-6 August 2003 the World Health Organization, with the support of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) convened a Technical Working Group of experts in Geneva to seek ways of contributing to the Millennium Development target to reduce maternal mortality, through specific interventions for pregnant adolescents, and babies born to adolescents. This document is designed to draw the attention of policy makers and programme managers to the need to improve care for pregnant adolescents, both inside and outside the health care system.To read the document, please visit here
A range of individuals and institutions have important roles in promoting healthy development in adolescents, and in preventing and responding to health problems challenging this population group. Health-care providers (HCP) have important contributions to make in both these areas. However, situation analyses and needs assessment exercises carried out in different parts of the world point to shortcomings in their professional capabilities and in their ‘human qualities’ as a result of which they are unable and oftentimes unwilling to deal with adolescents in an effective and sensitive manner. To bridge this gap, the Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development (CAH) of the World Health Organization (WHO) are developing the Orientation Programme on Adolescent Health for Health-care Providers (OP) with other partners. The OP is a joint effort of the Commonwealth Medical Association Trust, UNICEF and WHO.To read the publication, please visit here
This training module is intended to provide health and mental health personnel with some guidance on a non-disease oriented approach to psychosocial disaster response for children and adolescents. The module provides an overview of the special needs of children and adolescents affected by disasters and emergencies that can help in reaching an understanding of their behaviour after disasters. It addresses the general and specific stressors affecting children and adolescents and examines the consequences of these experiences in helping victims come to terms with their experiences.For more information, please visit here 

Each year an estimated 450 million new cases of curable sexually transmitted infections (STI) occur worldwide with the highest rates among 20-24 year olds, followed by 15-19 year olds. One in 20 young people is believed to contract a STI each year, excluding HIV and other viral infections. A minority of adolescents have access to any acceptable and affordable STI services. This document presents a review of the literature documenting existing experience with the provision of STI services for adolescents. It indicates that although increasing efforts have been made to improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health, most emphasize the provision of information and counselling and/or family planning. Less common are initiatives which include STI care. Various models of STI service delivery are reviewed including public and private sector clinics; services based in or linked to schools and stand-alone adolescent specific services. It proposes priority actions in research, policy and service delivery options.To read the document, please visit here
Adolescent fertility regulation and pregnancy prevention is one of the most important health-care issues of the twenty-first century. More than 15 million girls between the ages of 15 and 19 give birth every year worldwide, and an additional 5 million have abortions. Although the full extent of the unmet need for contraception is hard to gauge there is clearly a great need for increased adolescent reproductive and sexual health education This technical review that looks at available data on contraception in adolescents.To read the paper, please visit here 
This document presents a review of the literature documenting existing experience with the provision of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) services for adolescents. It indicates that although increasing efforts have been made to improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health, most emphasize the provision of information and counselling and/or family planning. Less common are initiatives which include STI care. To read the review, please visit here
An overview of the health situation of youth today is provided in this chapter, which also explores the serious health challenges this vulnerable group is facing with the context of local and global developments. Socio-economic, cultural, educational and other factors affecting young people’s health are examined, and reference is made to particular issues and areas of concern. Emphasis is given to the importance of involving young people in identifying problems and developing solutions to ensure that programmes, policies and health services address their needs.
To read the chapter, please visit here 
Research data from more than 50 countries confirm that there exist strong protective factors against health compromising behaviours in adolescents. This knowledge will help us to balance the traditional focus on risk factors and support the development of interventions that strengthen protective factors in adolescents themselves, in their relations with adults and their wider environment. For more information, please visit here
Advocacy document to attract and promote attention to adolescent health and development issues. Based on the principles of the WHO/UNFPA/UNICEF framework for country programming. Death, disability and illness due to four adolescent health issues are explored: sexual and reproductive health, tobacco and other substance use, suicide and road traffic accidents. Central to the discussions of these health issues are the connections to be made between them and the principles for action at country level.To read the document, please visit here
This literature review sheds new light on how adolescent boys and girls differ in their health and development needs and what implications these differences have for health interventions. The document takes a gender approach and while assessing the gender specific needs of adolescent males, it provides ideas into how to improve the health and development of adolescent boys and girls.To read the review, please visit here 

 

This joint report catalogues the results of a year-long study to map adolescent sexual and reproductive health programmes in areas affected by conflict, documents good practices, and provides recommendations to improve access to quality reproductive health care for adolescents in humanitarian settings. Despite growing awareness of the need for adolescent sexual and reproductive health programmes in humanitarian settings, the study found significant gaps in programming, including access to family planning. The encouraging news is that the mapping exercise also identified emerging good practices that can guide an expanded and scaled up response.

To read the full report click here.

UNFPA and UNICEF are working towards accelerated abandonment of female genital mutilation/ cutting within 15 countries by 2013. The focus of this joint funding proposal is to leverage social dynamics towards abandonment within selected communities that practice FGM/C. The main strategic approach is to gain the support of an initial core group, which decides to abandon FGM/C and mobilises a sufficient number of people to facilitate a tipping point and thereby create a rapid social shift of the cutting social convention norm. A core feature of implementation is fostering partnerships with government authorities both at decentralised and national levels, religious authorities and local religious leaders, the media, civil society organizations and the education and reproductive health sectors.

To read the full report click here.

This is the resolution adapted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the Sixty-fourth World Health Assembly, 2011

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Health Behavior in School-Aged Children (HBSC) recognizes that poor health cannot be explained simply by germs and genes. It involves the circumstances in which young people live; their access to health care, schools and leisure opportunities; and their homes, communities, towns and cities. It also reflects individual and cultural characteristics such as social status, gender, age and ethnicity, values and discrimination. In short, individual and population health is heavily influenced by social determinants.

The study of social determinants looks at factors outside what could traditionally be defined as “health” areas but which nevertheless have an enormous impact on health and well-being. It is about identifying and creating the conditions within which population health can thrive, ensuring that health promotion and health inequalities reduction become whole-of-government responsibilities, increasing capacity for strong governance for health within countries and internationally, and positioning health as a crucial asset for the inclusive and sustainable development of populations throughout the European Region.

To read the full report click here.

 

Everyone should have access to the health services they need without being forced into poverty when paying for them. The World health report 2013 “Research for universal health coverage” argues that universal health coverage – with full access to high-quality services for prevention, treatment and financial risk protection – cannot be achieved without the evidence provided by scientific research.

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This guidebook sets out the public health rationale for making it easier for adolescents to obtain the health services that they need to protect and improve their health and well-being, including sexual and reproductive health services. It defines ‘adolescent-friendly health services’ from the perspective of quality, and provides step-by-step guidance on developing quality standards for health service provision to adolescents. Drawing upon international experience, it is also tailored to national epidemiological, social, cultural and economic realities, and provides guidance on identifying what actions need to be taken to assess whether appropriate standards have been achieved.

To read the full report click here.

This publication reviews quantitative and qualitative evidence on adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health from a number of developing countries and, where possible, highlights findings for boys and girls aged less than 15 years in those studies. The review is organized around six interwoven processes that mark girls’ and boys’ passage through adolescence, with an emphasis on the early years. The concluding section brings together a number of research topics and approaches that could form the basis of a coordinated multi-country research agenda for young adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health and rights.

To read the full report click here.

The report “Adolescent mental health: mapping actions of nongovernmental organizations and other international development organizations” describes actions undertaken by a range of international development organizations to address adolescents’ mental health needs at country level. It was produced in collaboration with UNICEF.

Adolescent mental health is inadequately addressed by international development organizations and actions at country level appear to be fragmented. Interventions for promotion of psychosocial well-being and provision of mental health care to adolescents often have narrowly-focused, project-specific objectives, while opportunities to mainstream adolescent mental health in education, health and child protection programmes are still largely untapped.

To read the full report click here.

 

The WHO guidelines, Preventing early pregnancy and poor reproductive outcomes among adolescents in developing countries, provide both a call to action and directions for future research on: 1. Preventing early pregnancy: by preventing marriage before 18 years of age; by increasing knowledge and understanding of the importance of pregnancy prevention; by increasing the use of contraception; and by preventing coerced sex; and 2. Preventing poor reproductive outcomes: by reducing unsafe abortions; and by increasing the use of skilled antenatal, childbirth and postnatal care.

To read the full report click here.

This toolkit presents conceptual and practical information on engaging men and boys in promoting gender equality and health. Specific topics include sexual and reproductive health; maternal, newborn and child health; fatherhood; HIV and AIDS prevention, care and support; and prevention of gender-based violence. In addition to providing examples of programmes that have effectively addressed these challenges, the toolkit offers guidance on advocacy, needs-assessment, monitoring and evaluation related to efforts to engage men and boys.

 

This publication presents experiences of how health systems in Member States of the WHO European Region respond to the challenge of meeting the health and developmental needs of young people. The main aim is to facilitate experience-sharing and stimulate actions in countries. The first part presents a summary of the proceedings of the Meeting on Youth-friendly Health Policies and Services held in Edinburgh, United Kingdom (Scotland), 21−23 September 2009, with suggestions to inform decision-makers’ actions on creating and developing youth-friendly health policies and services in their own countries and internationally. There then follows a series of 12 case studies from nine countries with differing socioeconomic contexts that recently put in place youth health services initiatives. The case studies are presented within a health system framework which recognizes that for service delivery to achieve it aims, sustainable financing, adequate human resource development strategies and responsible leadership are necessary.

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Compared to adults, young people are especially at risk of creating vulnerabilities or developing mental health disorders as they face many new pressures and challenges in their daily lives. Leaving the parental home for the first time, financial worries, limited employment or educational opportunities or worries with human relations can cause high levels of stress, which can trigger mental disorders. Several disorders, such as depression, schizophrenia and substance abuse are identified as having their onset at this age. The document argues that prevention and promotion approaches can be effective in reducing mental health problems and symptoms of mental, aggression and antisocial behaviour, substance use, and in increasing coping skills of children and adolescents.

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Adolescents, both unmarried and married, face many sexual and reproductive health risks stemming from early, unprotected, and unwanted sexual activity. Key factors underlying this issue are lack of access to sexuality education, and to accessible, affordable, and appropriate contraception. There is an urgent need to implement programmes to meet the contraception needs of adolescents, while dismantling the current barriers to adolescents from accessing services.

To read the full report click here.