Improving Adolescent Health is an emerging area for India to invest in. UNICEF, with its mandate of focusing on the first two decades of life, has been actively supporting the Indian government at national and state level in developing platforms for adolescent-friendly health services.
As a start, with support of UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and UNICEF, the national Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched the Adolescent Health Strategy which serves as a guiding document for planning, implementing and monitoring multi-sectoral adolescent health initiatives in India.
After supporting the strategy’s launch, UNICEF is now supporting development of a comprehensive communication strategy for Adolescent Health which will help improve key healthy behaviours among adolescents, especially those out of school and residing in remote and belong to vulnerable communities. In 2015 and onwards, UNICEF India will support, at scale, adolescent-friendly health services with a core principle that these be equitably available.
Along with supporting the development and launch of the Adolescent Health Strategy, UNICEF has also supported modelling of adolescent-related services in states such as Gujarat and Jharkhand. The modelling is being documented throughout 2014.
Future areas of support:
• Support to disseminate and implement the Adolescent Health Strategy,
• Support to develop and finalize the Adolescent Health Communication Strategy,
• Work with UNICEF’s Child Protection, Nutrition, Communication for Development (C4D) and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sections for more integrated adolescent health approaches.