Statistics Tell the Story for What Youth Want for Post-2015

Sarah Lindsay

Senior Technical Officer

Josko Mise, President of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations. Photo: MSH Staff

Josko Mise, President of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations Photo: MSH Staff

“Adolescence is considered to be the most healthy time in a person’s life, but the statistics tell a different story,” Dr. Marc Derveeuw, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) representative of Cambodia, told youth delegates at the Promoting Healthy Lifestyles policy roundtable. Behaviors and activities put young people at significant health risk: 150 million young people use tobacco, 1 of 9 girls is forced to marry before the age of 15, and 16 million girls aged 15-19 years give birth every year.

The delegates at the World Conference on Youth are analyzing the most important health problems they are facing in their lives and these statistics stayed close to them  through two days of consultations. From discussion, three top problems have been identified that young people want addressed in the post-2015 framework:

  • Lack of accessible, affordable, and stigma-free health care;
  • Lack of recognition of unique youth health care needs;
  • And recognizing the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), mental health, and sexual and productive health along with lack of access to evidence and information around these health issues.

“In post-2015, we need to be bold. We need to be courageous and make sure the health statistics for young people drop in the next decade,” said moderator Josko Mise, President of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations. With one more day of deliberations left, health seems to be a priority issue for the impending Colombo Action Plan.