Nearly 3,000 Preventable Adolescent Deaths Daily
Published : 2017-05-16 - Updated : 2017-05-17
Author : Hoffman and Hoffman Worldwide
🛈 Synopsis : World Health Organization reports over 3000 adolescents die every day, totalling 1.2 million deaths a year, from largely preventable causes.
More than 3000 adolescents die every day, totalling 1.2 million deaths a year, from largely preventable causes, according to a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners. In 2015, more than two thirds--some 855 000 10 to 19-year-olds--died in low- and middle-income countries of the African and South-East Asia Regions. Road traffic injuries, lower respiratory infections and suicide are the biggest causes of death among adolescents.
Most of these deaths can be prevented with good health services, education and social support. But in many cases, adolescents who suffer from mental health disorders, substance use or poor nutrition cannot obtain critical prevention and care services - either because the services do not exist, or because they do not know about them.
In addition, many behaviours that impact health later in life, such as physical inactivity, poor diet, and risky sexual health behaviours, begin in adolescence.
"Adolescents have been entirely absent from national health plans for decades," says Dr Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director-General, WHO. "Relatively small investments focused on adolescents now will not only result in healthy and empowered adults who thrive and contribute positively to their communities, but it will also result in healthier future generations, yielding enourmous returns."
Data in the report, Global Accelerated Action for the Health of Adolescents (AA-HA!): Guidance to Support Country Implementation, reveal stark differences in causes of death when separating the adolescent group by age (younger adolescents aged 10-14 years and older ones aged 15-19) and by sex. The report also includes the range of interventions--from seat-belt laws to comprehensive sexuality education--that countries can take to improve their health and well-being and dramatically cut unnecessary deaths.
|Top 5 causes of death for adolescents 10-19 years|
|Total||Number of Deaths|
|1. Road injury||115,302|
|2. Lower respiratory infections||72,655|
|4. Diarrhoeal diseases||63,575|
|Males||Number of Deaths|
|1. Road traffic injury||88,590|
|2. Interpersonal violence||42,277|
|4. Lower respiratory infections||36,018|
|Females||Number of Deaths|
|1. Lower respiratory infections||36,637|
|3. Diarrhoeal diseases||32,194|
|4. Maternal conditions||28,886|
|5. Road traffic injury||26,712|
Road injuries top cause of death of adolescents, disproportionately affecting boys:
In 2015, road injuries were the leading cause of adolescent death among 10 to 19-year-olds, resulting in approximately 115 000 adolescent deaths. Older adolescent boys aged 15 to 19 years experienced the greatest burden. Most young people killed in road crashes are vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
However, differences between regions are stark. Looking only at low- and middle-income countries in Africa, communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, lower respiratory infections, meningitis and diarrhoeal diseases are bigger causes of death among adolescents than road injuries.
Lower respiratory infections and pregnancy complications take toll on girls' health:
The picture for girls differs greatly. The leading cause of death for younger adolescent girls aged 10-14 years are lower respiratory infections, such as pneumonia--often a result of indoor air pollution from cooking with dirty fuels. Pregnancy complications, such as haemorrhage, sepsis, obstructed labour and complications from unsafe abortions, are the top cause of death among 15 to 19-year-old girls.
Adolescents are at very high risk of self-harm and suicide:
Suicide and accidental death from self-harm were the third cause of adolescent mortality in 2015, resulting in an estimated 67 000 deaths. Self-harm largely occurs among older adolescents, and globally it is the second leading cause of death for older adolescent girls. It is the leading or second cause of adolescent death in Europe and South-East Asia.
A vulnerable population in humanitarian and fragile settings:
Adolescent health needs intensify in humanitarian and fragile settings. Young people often take on adult responsibilities, including caring for siblings or working, and may be compelled to drop out of school, marry early or engage in transactional sex to meet their basic survival needs. As a result, they suffer malnutrition, unintentional injuries, pregnancies, diarrhoeal diseases, sexual violence, sexually-transmitted diseases and mental health issues.
Interventions to improve adolescent health:
"Improving the way health systems serve adolescents is just one part of improving their health," says Dr Anthony Costello, Director, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health, WHO. "Parents, families and communities are extremely important, as they have the greatest potential to positively influence adolescent behaviour and health."
The AA-HA! Guidance recommends interventions across sectors, including comprehensive sexuality education in schools; higher age limits for alcohol consumption; mandating seat-belts and helmets through laws; reducing access to and misuse of firearms; reducing indoor air pollution through cleaner cooking fuels; and increasing access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene. It also provides detailed explanations of how countries can deliver these interventions with adolescent health programmes.
Related Children and Youth Documents
- 1: Sibling Rivalry: What is It and Why Does it Happen : Article looks at sibling rivalry with a focus on a child with disabilities or one who is ill and may require more time from a parent than their brothers or sisters.
- 2: Daycare Syndrome - Is There Such a Thing : Facts and advice from physicians to parents and caregivers on viral illness season and child care settings.
- 3: Disabled Children Treated More Harshly in Developing World : Largest study to date examines the link between child disabilities and discipline they may receive.
- 4: Children with Disabilities Often Invisible, Not Heard and Not Counted : Mind the Gap research reveals children with disability are often invisible, as they are overlooked in many child and disability focused laws, policies and programs.
- 5: Explaining Disability to Children : Parents may face situations where disabilities and children are concerned, talking to kids about disabilities includes explaining disability, politeness and manners to children.
You're reading Disabled World. Be sure to check out our homepage for further informative disability news, reviews, exclusive stories and how-tos. You can also follow Disabled World on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Disclaimer: Disabled World provides general information only. Materials presented are in no way meant to be a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Any 3rd party offering or advertising on disabled-world.com does not constitute endorsement by Disabled World. View our Advertising Policy for further information. Please report outdated or inaccurate information to us.
Journal: Disabled World. Language: English (U.S.). Author: Hoffman and Hoffman Worldwide. Electronic Publication Date: 2017-05-16 - Revised: 2017-05-17. Title: Nearly 3,000 Preventable Adolescent Deaths Daily, Source: <a href=https://www.disabled-world.com/disability/children/daily-deaths.php>Nearly 3,000 Preventable Adolescent Deaths Daily</a>. Retrieved 2021-04-13, from https://www.disabled-world.com/disability/children/daily-deaths.php - Reference: DW#319-12854.