Adolescent health undermined in developing countries

Updated:5 months, 1 week ago IST

New Delhi, Aug 12 (ANI): Recent study uncovered that adolescent health was one of the least prioritized subjects. Adolescent health programmes received only a tiny share of international aid, even after adolescents make up to 30% of the population in low-income group countries. Melbourne’s Murdoch Children’s Research Institute examined the amount international donors spent on youth health projects in 132 low-income countries over 13 years from 2003 to 2015. The research discovered that only 1.6% of global investments in health over those 13 years were spent on projects for adolescents even though adolescents account for 12 to 13% of disease burden in the developing world. Co-author University of Melbourne Prof George Patton, from MCRI’s Centre for Adolescent Health, said, “Of the little invested, most funds go to adolescents indirectly through programs for HIV particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. However, a large number of young people in low-income countries are being disabled as a result of depressive disorders, self-harm, and car accidents.” Researchers said, these youth challenges received almost no investment, yet expenditure in neglected areas such as mental health and car accidents would bring huge benefits for adolescents - for their future health, their productivity and the healthy growth of their children. Also adding that despite supporting the UN’s ‘Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents Health’, international investment from agencies have so far failed to make serious investments in the world’s young people. Study senior author Chunling Lu said, “Considering how important young people are for the future wellbeing and economic development of low- and middle-income countries, international donors need to reconsider both the levels and the patterns of investments that they are making.” He said the world now has the largest group of adolescents in human history.

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