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A national Adolescent and Youth Health Policy in development

The Department of Health is in the process of developing a national Adolescent and Youth Health Policy. A copy of the penultimate draft was circulated for comment late in February 2012. The deadline for input was 24 February. Even though this deadline has passed, should anyone have any comments, they should submit them to Marlene Schmidt at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The policy applies to youth between the ages of 10 and 24 years of age. It replaces the guidelines developed in 2001, and its purpose is to give guidance to all departments and service providers responsible for youth health.

It is built around 5 intervention strategies:

• Promoting a safe and supportive environment which includes family relationships, cultural practices and policies.

• The provision of essential information.

• Building skills to facilitate life transitions.

• Counselling to aid decisions about health treatment.

• Access to quality youth-friendly services.

There are 9 priorities:

• Sexual and reproductive health for girls.

• HIV and AIDS and TB.

• Chronic diseases and disability.

• Drug and substance abuse.

• Mental health.

• Violence and injuries.

• Nutrition.

• Oral health.

• Fitness and physical activity.

The policy is premised on inter-sectoral collaboration to realise the priority areas in multiple settings.

WEB LINKS FOR THIS ARTICLE

Click here to view the draft Adolescent and Youth Health Policy.