Adolescent Health: Effects and Advice.
Important information on Adolescent and Young Child Health:
⦁ In 2020, almost 5000 children, teenagers, and young adults (10 to 24 years old) perished each day, totaling over 1.5 million.
⦁ Of all the age categories, young teenagers (10 to 14 years old) had the lowest mortality rate.
⦁ The top causes of mortality for teenagers and young adults include injuries, violence, self-harm, maternal conditions, and accidents (particularly drowning and traffic accidents) or many negligences in Adolescent Health.
⦁ Half of adult mental health illnesses begin by the age of 14, however, the majority of instances go undiagnosed and untreated.
⦁ Persons of earlier ages are adversely affected by substance use as compared to people of older ages, and early initiation of substance use is related to higher chances of acquiring dependency and other difficulties during adult life
⦁ In 2020, there have been 41 births per 1000 females between the ages of 15 and 19.
Teenagers’ and young adults’ odds of survival vary drastically throughout the globe. The likelihood of death among people aged 10 to 24 was greatest in sub-Saharan Africa, Oceania (apart from Australia and New Zealand), northern Africa, and southern Asia in 2020. Sub-Saharan Africa had a likelihood of dying before the age of 23 that was six times greater than that of North America and Europe on average.
Principal Ailments for Adolescent Health:
Teenagers are most frequently killed and disabled by unintentional accidents. In 2019, road traffic incidents claimed the lives of over 100 000 teenagers (10 to 19 years old). Numerous fatalities included pedestrians, bikers, or riders of motorized two-wheelers, all of whom were considered vulnerable road users. It is essential to strengthen their enforcement and broaden the scope of many nations’ laws governing road safety. The regulations that forbid driving while intoxicated or while under the influence of narcotics must be carefully enforced in all age groups, and young drivers require guidance on safe driving practices. Young drivers’ blood alcohol levels need to be lower than those of experienced drivers. It is advised that new drivers have graduated licenses with zero tolerance for drunk driving.
Among several leading causes of mortality for teenagers is drowning; in 2019, it is anticipated that more than approximately 50 000 teenagers—more than 75 percent of them were boys—died by drowning. One of the most important interventions to stop these deaths is swimming instruction for kids and teenagers.
One of the top causes of mortality in teenagers and young people across the world is interpersonal violence. Its importance varies greatly between global regions. In fairly low and intermediate nations in the WHO Area of the Americas, it is the main cause of mortality among male adolescents. In the worldwide school-based student health survey, bullying was reported by 42% of teenage boys and 37% of adolescent girls. Youth are also disproportionately affected by sexual violence: 1 in 8 adolescents report experiencing sexual abuse.
Injuries, HIV and other STDs, mental health issues, poor academic performance, dropout rates, early pregnancies, issues with reproductive health, and infectious and noncommunicable illnesses are all concerns that are increased by adolescent violence.
Promoting parenting and young children’s development, tackling bullying in schools, developing life and social skills through programs, and using community-based tactics to restrict access to alcohol and weapons are all examples of effective preventative and response measures. Adolescent survivors of abuse can benefit from effective and compassionate care, as well as continuing support, to lessen the negative effects on their physical and mental health.
Suicide is the second largest cause of death for those between the ages of 15 and 19 years, and depression represents one of the major illnesses and disabilities that affect teenagers. 16% of the worldwide epidemic of illness and damage among person ages 10 to 19 is attributable to mental health problems. Half of adult mental health illnesses begin by the age of 14, however, the majority of instances go undiagnosed and untreated.
Adolescents’ happiness and mental health are influenced by a variety of circumstances. Being in chaotic and unstable environments, poverty, stigma, marginalization, and violence can all raise the likelihood of mental health issues. When teenage mental health issues are not treated, the effects can be felt well into adulthood, affecting overall health and reducing prospects for satisfying lives.
It is possible to encourage excellent mental well-being in young people and adolescents by developing their social-emotional abilities and offering them psychosocial assistance in educational and other appropriate settings. Programs that work to enhance the conditions at home and the bonds between young people and their families are also crucial. If issues do emerge, they should be quickly identified and handled by skilled and compassionate healthcare professionals.
Alcoholism and drug abuse affect – Adolescent Health:
Across many nations, teen alcohol use is a serious problem. It can weaken self-control and encourage harmful behaviors like unsafe sex or reckless driving. It is a root cause of injuries, violence, and early deaths, especially those brought on by auto accidents. It may also shorten life expectancy and cause health issues in later years. Around the world, 155 million teenagers, or more than 25% of those in the 15–19 age range, currently use alcohol. Males were particularly at risk for excessive episodic drinking, which was prevalent among teenagers aged 15 to 19 in 2016.
4.7% of those between the ages of 15 and 16 reported consuming it at least after being in 2018, cannabis is the psychoactive substance that young people use the most frequently. The use of alcohol and other drugs by kids and teenagers is linked to neurocognitive changes that can subsequently result in behavioral, emotional, social, and academic issues.
Public health initiatives should focus on preventing alcohol and drug use, which may be accomplished through population-based methods, and family, community, and individual-level initiatives. One of the main methods for lowering teen drinking is to set a minimum age for purchasing and consuming alcohol as well as to stop promoting and selling to minors.
The great majority of tobacco users now started smoking when they were young. It is essential to prohibit the purchase of cigarettes by people who are under the age of 18, increase the cost of nicotine goods through increased taxes, outlaw tobacco advertising, and provide smoke-free settings. Around the world, at minimum 1 in 10 teenagers between the ages of 13 and 15 smoke, while there are places where this number is far higher.
In 2019, 1.7 million teenagers (aged 10 to 19) were predicted to have HIV, with African regions accounting for 90% of those cases. Teenagers still make up around 10% of great adult New HIV diagnoses, with teenage girls accounting for 75% of those infections, despite significant decreases since a high in 1994. Additionally, even though the number of new cases may have declined in many of the nations with the worst epidemics, current testing rates are still low, suggesting that many teenagers and young adults with HIV may not be aware of their status.
Antiretroviral therapy availability, adherence, retention in care, and viral clearance are all poorer for adolescents with HIV. The lack of adolescent-friendly services, such as support and psychological therapies, is a major contributor to this.
Teenagers and young adults must understand how to prevent Infectious diseases and must have the resources necessary to do so. This involves having improved access to HIV testing, counseling, and pre-exposure prophylaxis, as well as stronger connections to HIV treatment facilities for people who test HIV positive. HIV preventive strategies include discretionary medical male circumcision, condoms, and pre-exposure prophylaxis.
Other contagious illnesses effect on Adolescent Health:
Adolescent mortality and disabilities from measles have significantly decreased as a result of increased childhood immunization. For instance, the African Region had a 90% reduction in adolescent measles death between 2000 and 2013.
According to estimates, the 10 largest causes of mortality for teenagers between the ages of 10 and 14 include pneumonia and respiratory illnesses. Meningitis and these two illnesses are among the top five causes of teenage fatalities in low- and middle-income African nations.
Infectious infections like the human papillomavirus, which often appear after the commencement of sexual behavior, can cause both short-term illness (genital warts during adolescence) and, more crucially, long-term illness (cervical and other malignancies decades later). The ideal period for this is during early adolescence (9–14 years). Inflammatory conditions, such as the human papillomavirus ( HPV, which often appear after the commencement of sexual behavior, can result in both a short-term condition (genital warts during adolescence) and a longer-term condition (cervical and other malignancies decades later).
The best period to protect against HIV transmission is during the teen years (9–14 years old), and if 90% of girls worldwide receive the HPV vaccine, upwards of Forty million lives might be spared over the next century. However, just 15% of girls worldwide are thought to have gotten the vaccination in 2019.
Childbirth and young pregnancy:
Each year, at least 777 Thousand girls under the age of 15 and around 12 million girls between the ages of 15 and 19 give birth in developing countries of the world. Pregnancy and delivery complications are among the major causes of mortality for females between the ages of 15 and 19 worldwide.
According to the UN Population Division, national rates vary from 1 to about 200 births per thousand girls this age, with the global teenage birth rate in 2020 estimated to be at 41. This shows a notable decline since 1990. This trend has resulted in a corresponding drop in maternal death rates among females between the ages of 15 and 19.
Before 2030, the world shall provide widespread access to the family planning healthcare system, including modern contraceptives, education, and awareness, as well as the inclusion of fertility into country plans and programs. This is one of the particular aims of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG).
The process of instructing and learning first about intellectual, emotional, physical, and social elements of sexuality through a curriculum is known as sexual health education, and it is something that all adolescents should have access to. A decrease in the number of girls getting pregnant and becoming new parents at too early an age can be achieved by improving the availability of contraceptive resources and information. Enforced laws that set the marriage age at 18 can be beneficial.
Access to top-notch prenatal care is necessary for girls who do get pregnant. Teens who decide to have safe abortions should be able to obtain them where the law permits.
Deficits in nutrition and micronutrients
Adolescent years lost to disability and mortality in 2019 were second most frequently caused by iron deficiency anemia. Before teenagers start having children, folic acid and iron pills are a remedy that also aids in health promotion. To avoid micronutrient (including iron) deficits, regular deworming is advised in regions where intestinal helminths like hookworm are prevalent.
The cornerstone for excellent health in adulthood is the development of appropriate eating habits in adolescence. Access to nutritious meals and a reduction in the promotion of foods rich in excessive fats, trans fats, sugary foods, or salt are crucial for everyone, but especially for kids and teenagers.
Overweight and poor nutrition effect on Adolescent Health:
Several children in underdeveloped nations are malnourished when they reach adolescence, which increases their risk of illness and early mortality. On the opposite end of the spectrum, nations with low, moderate, and high incomes are seeing an increase in the proportion of teenagers who are overweight or obese.
About 1 in 6 teenagers aged 10 to 19 were overweight globally in 2016. In the WHO South-East Asia Region, the prevalence was less than 10%, but in the WHO Region of the Americas, it was above 30%.
Adolescents who engage in regular physical exercise benefit from a variety of fundamental health advantages, such as increased aerobic and muscular fitness, bone growth, maintaining a healthy weight gain, and psychological advantages. Caresansar advises teenagers to engage in at least 1-2 hours of physical activity every day, on average, throughout the week. This can include play, games, and sports, as well as activities for transportation (such as cycling and walking) or physical education.
Only one in five teenagers worldwide is thought to satisfy these standards. In many parts of the world, there is a high prevalence of inactivity, and female adolescents are more likely to be inactive than male adolescents.
Legal rights for Adolescent Health:
In worldwide legal texts, children’s (those under the age of 18) rights to life, growth, and development are established. The Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which supervises the child rights convention, released recommendations on the freedom of children and adolescents to the achievement of the greatest quality of health in 2013, and a General Comment on fulfilling the protection of individuals during adolescence was published in 2016. It emphasizes that nations must acknowledge the unique rights and needs of young people and adolescents in terms of their health and development.
The rights of women and girls to good health and proper medical treatment are also outlined in the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
Suggestion From Caresansar for Adolescent Health:
For the well-being of adolescent health, together as a community, we should collectively work together. For that maybe this of the points should be followed:
⦁ creation of real-proof recommendations to benefit other industries, such as the healthcare industry;
⦁ providing high-quality, age-appropriate health care for adolescents; advising governments on teenage health and prepubescent health systems;
⦁ recording developments in adolescent development and health;
⦁ increasing public and other relevant parties’ knowledge of young people’s health challenges; and
⦁ influencing governments and collaborating with youth-led and youth-serving groups to assist the establishment of national-level institutions and procedures to institutionalize teenage participation in discussions concerning pertinent aspects of public policy, funding, and program execution.
You can visit https://un.org.np/ for any queries related to Adolescent Health.