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Table of Contents   
LETTER TO THE EDITOR  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 284-285
Improving adolescent health by meeting global standards set by the World Health Organization


Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Click here for correspondence address and email

Date of Web Publication5-May-2017
 

How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Improving adolescent health by meeting global standards set by the World Health Organization. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:284-5

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Improving adolescent health by meeting global standards set by the World Health Organization. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Nov 19];10:284-5. Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/1/284/205575
Dear Editor,

Globally, one out of every six persons in the world is an adolescent, amounting to 1.2 billion people across the globe.[1] Even though, most of them are healthy, nevertheless there is a significant risk of illnesses or high-risk behaviors among them, which can interfere with their ability to grow and develop to their full potential.[1] In-fact, almost 1.3 million adolescents lost their lives in 2015 predominantly due to preventable or treatable causes, with road traffic injuries accounting for maximum number of deaths.[1]

The age-group of adolescence is plagued by a large number of concerns like an initiation of mental illnesses, alcohol-tobacco-drug use, unprotected sex, the risk of sexually transmitted infections, early pregnancy-childbirth and their associated complications, exposure to violence, unintentional injuries, poor nutrition leading to malnutrition and obesity, and at times violation of their rights as well.[1],[2],[3] These issues not only compromise their current health, but even have a serious impact in the years to come.[3]

Acknowledging their share of the total population, the magnitude of the associated problem, and impact on the quality of life in both short and long term, various global initiatives have been advocated to prioritize the issue of delivering quality-assured health services to the adolescents.[1],[2] Currently, pockets of excellent practice exist, but then most of them are unorganized and, thus, needs massive improvement.[4] In-fact, the World Health Organization has developed a set of eight global standards to ensure the quality of services is maintained and the needs of adolescents are met in the health set-up.[4]

These standards comprise of adolescents' health literacy (viz. being knowledgeable about their own health, and to avail health care when and where); community support (making community stakeholders realize the importance of prioritizing adolescent health); offering comprehensive package (information, diagnostic, treatment etc.) within the institution and through referral services as well; enhancing the competencies of health providers and motivating them to respect the adolescents' rights to information, privacy, nonjudgemental attitude, and so on; facility attributes (adolescent-friendly services delivered in a nonthreatening manner, ably supported with appropriate infrastructure and logistics); maintain equity and nondiscrimination regardless of their ability to pay, or other sociodemographic characteristics; data and quality improvement (viz. collect data comprehensively and based on the findings plan measures to address the existing barriers or improve the acceptability of services); and ensuring adolescents' participation in the planning, monitoring, evaluation of health services, and in reaching a decision regarding their own care.[4],[5]

In addition, inculcating healthy practices and intervening actively to protect them from health risks is crucial for the prevention of health ailments.[1] Further, ensuring universal health care in terms of enhancing the access to sexual and reproductive health, family planning, information and education, antenatal care, and so on, will enable them to stay healthy and develop good lifestyles.[1],[2],[3],[4]

To conclude, it is high time to improve the quality of health care services for adolescents and at the same time meet the global set criteria, but the eventual result will depend on the commitment of the policy-makers and health service planners.

Acknowledgement

S.R.S. contributed in the conception or design of the work, drafting of the work, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

P.S.S. contributed in the literature review, revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

J.R. contributed in revising the draft, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest to declare.

 
   References Top

1.
World Health OrganizationAdolescents: health risks and solutions - Fact sheet; 2016. Available from: http://who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs345/en/. [Accessed 2016 May 13].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Patra S. Motherhood in childhood: addressing reproductive health hazards among adolescent married women in India. Reprod Health 2016;13:52.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]    
3.
Skinner ML, Hong S, Herrenkohl TI, Brown EC, Lee JO, Jung H. et al. Longitudinal effects of early childhood maltreatment on co-occurring substance misuse and mental health problems in adulthood: The role of adolescent alcohol use and depression. J Stud Alcohol Drugs 2016;77:464-72.  Back to cited text no. 3
[PUBMED]    
4.
Hardoff D, Gefen A, Sagi D, Ziv A. Dignity in adolescent health care: a simulation-based training programme. Med Educ 2016;50:570-71.  Back to cited text no. 4
[PUBMED]    
5.
World Health Organization Global standards for quality health care services for adolescents. Geneva WHO press;2015. p. 1-24.  Back to cited text no. 5
    

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Correspondence Address:
Dr Saurabh R Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai village, Thiruporur- Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.205575

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