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Table of Contents   
EDITORIAL COMMENTARY  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 1119-1120
International agencies working together to empower adolescent girls in Mozambique: A community-based intervention


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 Publication6-Nov-2017
 

How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. International agencies working together to empower adolescent girls in Mozambique: A community-based intervention. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:1119-20

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. International agencies working together to empower adolescent girls in Mozambique: A community-based intervention. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Sep 17];10:1119-20. Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/5/1119/217539


Dear Editor,

Adolescence is a transient developmental stage during which a person experiences a wide range of biological and emotional changes.[1] It is quite important to focus on all these changes, as often many high-risk behaviors are adopted at this stage of life.[1] In fact, the current global estimates suggest that 1.2 billion people across the world are adolescents, and that represents a huge number.[1] Not only that, it is quite important to nurture them as more than 1.2 million of adolescents lost their lives in 2015, predominantly because of the avoidable or manageable reasons.[1],[2]

In addition, they have been exposed to numerous health hazards like sexually transmitted infections, suicidal tendencies, interpersonal hazards, adoption of high risk behaviors, and mental illnesses.[1],[2] Furthermore, it has been estimated that almost 50% of all mental illnesses among adults actually begin during adolescence phase, and due to the lack of medical attention often remains undetected and untreated.[1] All these illnesses or high-risk behavior, not only compromises their quality of life or the current health status, but even leaves a scar on their future lives.[1],[2]

Moreover, the extent of impact increases enormously in cases of girls as they are hardly ever sensitized about their sexual health, and are often exposed to the threat of early child marriage, unintended pregnancy and pregnancy-associated complications, unsafe abortion practices, sexual harassment, gender-based violence, and scholastic backwardness due to school dropouts which also reflects on the future prospects of family income and nation's growth.[2],[3],[4] The recent global figures reflect that close to 49 births per 1000 girls have been reported in the late adolescent age-group.[1]

Thus, it is extremely important to inculcate healthy behaviors among adolescents and take specific interventions to neutralize the potential health risks which can jeopardize their lives forever.[2],[3]

However, it is very crucial to understand that most of the adolescent girls have poor likelihood to avail reproductive health services like contraceptive usage, when compared with adult women, especially because of the lack of awareness about the same, no decision-making power in their age-group, sociocultural restrictions, and even negative attitude of the health workers.[4] Similar sorts of numerous health hazards have been experienced by millions of adolescent girls in Mozambique, with school enrolment dropping to less than 20% in secondary school due to early pregnancy, in contrast to the primary school enrolment of more than 80%.[3],[5],[6]

In an attempt to respond to the situation and with an aim to reach more than 1 million girls, the United Nations Population Fund in collaboration with a financial support from the Swedish government has launched an Action for Adolescent Girls initiative.[5] Under this initiative, multiple safe spaces have been established and hundreds of girls have been mentored about life skills, empowerment through starting a small business, the skills of leadership, and the need to object violence or child marriage or any other social evil which threatens their human rights.[5] Subsequently, these trained girls are assigned to pass on the gained information and skills to their other counterparts.[5] Furthermore, extra emphasis has been given to ensure that girls remain in school and those who have dropped-out are also brought back to the schools.[5]

To conclude, owing to the immense health hazards to which adolescent girls have been exposed in heterogeneous settings, it is the responsibility of each of the stakeholders to ensure that we create an environment in which they can pursue their dreams and become a productive part of the society.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
   References Top

1.
World Health Organization Adolescents: health risks and solutions-Fact sheet; 2016. Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs345/en/. [Last accessed on 2016 Aug 25].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Bista B, Thapa P, Sapkota D, Singh SB, Pokharel PK, Psychosocial problems among adolescent students: An exploratory study in the central region of Nepal. Front Public Health 2016;4:158.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Lafort Y, Lessitala F, Candrinho B, Greener L, Greener R, Beksinska M, et al. Barriers to HIV and sexual and reproductive health care for female sex workers in Tete, Mozambique: results from a cross-sectional survey and focus group discussions. BMC Public Health 2016;16:608.  Back to cited text no. 3
[PUBMED]    
4.
Shahabuddin AS, Nöstlinger C, Delvaux T, Sarker M, Bardají A, Brouwere VD, et al. What influences adolescent girls' decision-making regarding contraceptive methods use and childbearing? A qualitative exploratory study in Rangpur district, Bangladesh. PLoS One 2016;11:e0157664.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
UNFPA. Joint UN programme aims to empower over 1 million girls in Mozambique; 2016. Available from: http://www.unfpa.org/news/joint-un-programme-aims-empower-over-1-million-girls-mozambique. [Last accessed on 2016 Aug 26].  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Chandra-Mouli V, Gibbs S, Badiani R, Quinhas F, Svanemyr J, Programa Geração Biz. Mozambique: how did this adolescent health initiative grow from a pilot to a national programme, and what did it achieve? Reprod Health 2015;12:12.  Back to cited text no. 6
    

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Correspondence Address:
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: 10.4103/1755-6783.217539

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