Promoting health through the life-course

Reaching every adolescent

Regional workshop on strengthening gender, equity, rights and social determinants of health, June 2016

Kathmandu consultation chair

JUNE 2016 – Many countries are reinforcing their efforts and focus on “leaving no adolescent behind” in national adolescent health and development programmes, in line with the SDGs and the emerging Global Accelerated Action for the Health of Adolescents (AA-HA!) Implementation Guidance document.

To support this work, WHO held a consultation from 21-23 June 2016 with 10 countries from South-East Asia. Hosted by the Government of Nepal in Kathmandu, the meeting served as a regional consultation to inform the contents of the Global AA-HA! Implementation Guidance document and introduced WHO’s Innov8 approach for reviewing national health programmes to leave no one behind.

Representatives from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste attended the event, including from national Ministries of Health, Ministries of Education, and country offices of UNICEF, UNFPA and WHO. WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia, UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia, UNFPA Asia Pacific Regional Office, and development partners, GIZ and Save the Children, were also present.

The meeting outcomes included inputs for shaping AA-HA!, with a strong focus on elements related to tackling inequities, addressing gender norms, applying human rights-based approaches, engaging in intersectoral action, and enabling social participation, to ensure that no adolescent is left behind.

Countries identified ways in which they could use AA-HA! and the Innov8 approach together to develop and strengthen adolescent health strategies, programmes and implementation guidelines. Likewise, countries identified potential to review how programmes in different areas, such as road safety and mental health, could be more adolescent friendly and reach the most disadvantaged adolescents.