Transforming Futures, One Young Person at a Time
Today, around the world, there are about 1.8 billion adolescents (10 to 19 years old) and young people (15 to 24 years old). Investments in their health and education can transform their lives and produce positive economic and social results. Working in partnership with young people, Jhpiego supports evidence-based adolescent health programs so they can reach their full potential and lead healthy, productive lives.
The leading cause of death for 15- to 19-year-old girls is complications from pregnancy and childbirth. They represent 11% of all births worldwide.
Meeting the needs of a nation’s vibrant youth
More than half of India’s population (732 million people!) are under 30. Watch this video to learn how Jhpiego is working with the Government of India and the Population Reference Bureau to ensure that Indian youth have the health care they want and need to secure healthy futures for themselves, their families and their communities.
From Bleak to Bright
An unexpected pregnancy could have meant the end to 17-year-old’s Shanille Blase’s dreams of college and independence. But with support from her family and a village health program for teens, Shanille got the care and counseling she needed to plan a future for herself and her son.
How We Make an Impact
We equip adolescents with the education, support, services and opportunities they need to plan their futures and help them reach their goals. Read about Jhpiego’s four-pronged youth and adolescent health approach.
- To ensure adolescent and youth-led design, we work hand in hand with adolescents and youth as partners in project design.
- We work with adolescents and youth to help them set goals and plan their futures, connect them to health services so they can meet their goals, and introduce them to economic and education opportunities to transform their futures.
- We identify and train peer leaders and build the capacity of adolescent and youth-led organizations because we recognize the crucial role that young people play as key stakeholders in the health system.
- Our sexual and reproductive health and family planning initiatives: provide counseling and information to adolescents and youth so they can protect their health and prevent unintended pregnancies, generate knowledge about and demand for contraceptives, and increase access to adolescent-responsive health services.
- We work with ministries of health and health facilities to transform health services to be responsive to adolescents and youth, building the capacity of service providers to offer quality adolescent health care services that are nonjudgmental and nondiscriminatory.
- Jhpiego’s HIV initiatives connect key and vulnerable populations, including adolescent girls and young women, with community-based comprehensive HIV prevention, care and treatment services. Our approach equips adolescents and youth with educational materials, peer support networks, youth-friendly health services—including HIV counseling, testing and treatment—and commodities. We also train girls who are no longer in school, providing them with business skills and supporting them to form groups where they can access capital for business and social networks.
To increase awareness of, demand for and access to adolescent and youth health services, Jhpiego engages communities to create an enabling environment that supports adolescents and youth by:
- Working with community and religious leaders so they understand the challenges adolescents face and the importance of investing in this population
- Mapping communities to identify need and increase access to services
- Strengthening skills of parents to communicate with adolescents and youth and to serve as parent champions who mentor other parents
Jhpiego supports national ministries of health to:
- Coordinate adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health services at the national level through technical working groups.
- Advocate for resources to support adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health services.
- Develop national policies, standards and guidelines to improve quality of adolescent health.
- Work with ministries of health to efficiently scale up national HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccination programs to protect girls and improve the health of adolescents.
- Research how to reach girls in and out of school for HPV vaccination.
Why is it important to invest in adolescent health?
Adolescents have a fundamental right to health. According to the World Health Organization, investments in adolescent health produce a “triple dividend” of benefits: for adolescents now, for their future and for the next generation. These investments can have long-term impact and reduce poverty by enhancing adolescents’ economic abilities, which benefits them, their households and their community. For adolescent girls, the benefits of avoiding pregnancies include improved health, a better chance of reaching a higher level of education and building their skill set, lower fertility over their lifetime, prevention of unsafe abortions and reduced social isolation. The Sustainable Development Goals will not be achieved without strategies that promote the health and well-being of adolescents.