Geneva, (IINA) - The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that more than 3,000 adolescents die every day or roughly 1.2 million annually from preventable causes throughout the world.
The report from the WHO showed that in 2015, 855,000 people in the age group of 10-19 died in low- and middle-income countries in the African and South-East Asia regions of the world. The leading causes of death among adolescents were traffic injuries, lower respiratory infections, and suicide.
Researchers found most of the deaths were preventable with proper health, education, and social support services. Mental health disorders, substance use, or poor nutrition also contributed to the preventable deaths when adolescents did not have access to prevention services.
"Adolescents have been entirely absent from national health plans for decades," Dr. Flavia Bustreo, assistant director-general with the WHO, said in a press release. "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 enormous returns."
The study revealed significant differences in causes of death among different age groups and genders.
Traffic injury-related deaths were the leading cause of death among 10- to 19-year-old with older boys aged 15 to 19 at the highest risk.
Girls aged between 10 and 14 were at a greater risk of dying from lower respiratory infections resulting from indoor air pollution and pregnancy complications in girls aged between 15 and 19.
Health needs in adolescents are increased in countries with humanitarian crises and turmoil as adolescents take on adult burdens.
Suicide and self-harm were the third leading cause of adolescent death in 2015 with 67,000 deaths. "Improving the way health systems serve adolescents is just one part of improving their health," Dr. Anthony Costello, director of Maternal, Newborn, Child, and Adolescent Health for the WHO, said. "Parents, families and communities are extremely important, as they have the greatest potential to positively influence adolescent behavior and health."
Source: International Islamic News Agency