Adolescence is a unique life phase. Between the ages of 10 and 19, young people face a huge range of health-related challenges specific to their age group including mental and reproductive health and social pressures. The choices they make, and the behaviours they establish, will determine their health for the rest of their lives.
Adolescence is also a time when young people become more independent, taking care of themselves and others, developing their own perspectives and making their own decisions. They are creative, energetic and experts in their own experience. They can be – and must be – part of the solution to the healthcare challenges they face: partners, not patients. Their ideas and their voices must be heard.
So how do adolescents themselves see the problems? What do they want to fix the challenges they face? And what action do they want from the international system? We reached out to adolescents involved in our Young Health Programmes in Kenya, India and Brazil. This manifesto summarises how they see the challenges, what solutions they have identified and how they want to be part of them.