Adolescent & Youth Health Policy 2016-2020
This Adolescents and Youth Health Policy aims to promote the health and wellbeing of young people, aged 10-24 years. Over the past two decades in South Africa, we have focused on equitable distribution of health resources and the expansion of service delivery. This has transformed the public health service. In adolescent and youth health, evidence from research has improved our understanding of needs and responses, and programmatic innovation has expanded healthcare provision and awareness. Despite this progress, adolescent and youth still face risks. Persistent high rates of HIV transmission (particularly among young, black women), tuberculosis, unintended and unsupported pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and substance abuse are major challenges for adolescents and youth, and for the health sector that services their needs.
The Department of Health strives towards a proactive, preventative focus on health promotion and management. There is a greater recognition and focus on the behavioural and structural causes of health and disease, but there are still important opportunities for increasing the effectiveness of adolescent health programme, and for taking them to scale nationally. This Adolescent Youth Health Policy (AYHP) will aid the Department of Health, together with principal partners in government, to change national conceptions of effective health promotion among adolescents and youth in South Africa.