international Expertise

Adolescent Health

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Meeting the Emerging Adolescents Health Challenges

Two adolescent girls in Guinea.

Adolescents require many of the same health services as younger children, but they also face challenges as they move toward adulthood. We help develop programs that give young people the skills and confidence to take charge of their health and improve their lives.

In the spirit of “nothing about us without us,” we include adolescents in designing and implementing programs that benefit them, for example, in projects like the HCDExchange and it’s Youth Leadership Hub and the Kenya Health Games initiative.

We succeed by looking at adolescents holistically, working with public and private partners to bring together sectors including health, education, child protection, and social welfare. And we work to meet the needs of those in- and out-of-school, married, and at various stages from very young (ages 10 to 14), to teens to young adults. Our goal is to prepare them for productive, fulfilling, and healthy lives.

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Promoting Healthier Lifestyles
We help to change social norms to promote healthier lifestyles through civil society institutions such as sports teams, religious groups, and cultural organizations. Efforts to change social norms must involve adolescents and adults including health providers, teachers, pastors, and parents.
Special interventions include the introduction of HPV vaccination, youth-friendly clinics, voluntary male circumcision, community-based family planning that includes young people, and healthy lifestyles and nutrition behavior change.
Reducing Sexual Threats
Our projects focus on some of the biggest sexual health threats young people face including HIV, female genital mutilation, unwanted pregnancies, and sexual and gender-based violence. Interventions include education on preventing HIV, STIs, and unintended pregnancies, increasing access to PreP and emergency contraception, providing post-rape care, and reducing alcohol, tobacco, and drug use.
Preventing Forced & Child Marriage
We support the development of public policies against child marriage and help communities that implement them. We develop programs to identify high-risk girls, including married adolescents, to protect their health by spacing births, improving nutrition, and building support for young families.
Supporting Adolescents Living with HIV
We have expertise in building capacity of health providers, caregivers, and young people themselves to manage the transition from pediatric to adult HIV care. We understand that adolescents who live with HIV need support in a variety of areas, among them relationships with family members and transitioning to independence, mental health, and drug and alcohol abuse. We help partners create programs and policies that meet these needs.

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