According to the estimates, adolescents aged 10-19 years constitute 21% of the total Indian population, nearly one-fifth of the total population. Such a large group represents a major human resource that can contribute to the overall development of the country .Addressing their needs will contribute to the overall development of the country. It will lead not only to their social and economic development, but also to social harmony, gender parity and improved quality of life. Since adolescence is a period of tremendous opportunity as well as of risk, marked by physical, psychosocial and social change, therefore it is of utmost importance that programmes and policies are formulated specifically to address this dynamic age group. There are plethora of issues that have a direct bearing on the health and wellbeing of this population; the key issues are:
Situational analysis (NFHS-3 and DLHS-3)
A considerable proportion of women who marry before the legal minimum age of 18 years, around 19% of the girls married below 18 years of age.
Female mortality rates are higher, compared to males in the 15–24 years bracket.
In the 15–19 years age group, only 60% girls attend school, as compared to the boys which is more than 80%.(NFHS-3).
The differentials increase with age and area of residence, as only 13% of the girls aged 15-17 years attend school in the rural area; rural girls are the most disadvantaged.
More than 64% of girls aged 10–19 years suffer from severe/moderate anaemia (NFHS-3) which leads to a higher-age specific mortality.
More than 1/3rd of women in the age group of 20-24 years got married before the legal age of 18 years.
Keeping in view to the overall situation several key strategies have been adopted by National Health Mission. Key strategy includes:
Adolescent Friendly Health Clinics(AFHCs)
Menstrual Hygiene Schemes (MHS)
Weekly Iron Folic Acid Supplementation (WIFS)
To improve health condition of adolescent aiming at reduction of IMR & MMR, Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health (ARSH) component under RCH-II.
To address the unmet health issues and risks of adolescents through establishment of Adolescent Friendly Health Clinic (AFHC)& outreach activities under ARSH.