Steps in making policy on adolescent health

Member States in the European Region can use the European strategy for child and adolescent health and development as a guide in working towards the goals of Health 2020. It aims to encourage and achieve a life-course approach to health and health care, equity in adolescent health services, intersectoral action and public participation. The strategy presents the following key steps to consider when formulating adolescent health policies:

  • analysing the distribution of adolescent health outcomes across population groups;
  • addressing the main underlying determinants of unfavourable health outcomes in adolescents (such as poor nutrition or bad housing);
  • giving priority to the periods of greatest vulnerability along the life course (pregnancy, infancy and adolescence);
  • investing in the prevention and control of diseases that disproportionately affect the poor;
  • supporting the most vulnerable households;
  • improving the quality of primary and hospital care for adolescents; and
  • identifying appropriate indicators of and targets for equity.

In addition, WHO/Europe has published a series of publications entitled “Young people’s health as a whole-of-society response”, on which Member States can draw when formulating their own approaches to bridging the gap between sectors, agencies and society to protect and promote adolescent health. The publications look particularly at the evidence for gender-responsive actions in policies and programmes for adolescent health.