Engaging young people in their own care is key to improving adolescent health

Fazarkeley family

Isobel Fazarkeley was only 2 years old when she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. She is now 18 and about to begin studying for her final high school exams. "I think it is easier for me having had diabetes since the age of 2, I don't know a life without it," she says. 

Asked what has been the hardest age at which to have diabetes, her answer is simple: "The first year of secondary school (age 11-12), taking on more responsibility for my care alongside lots of other big changes in my life". Isobel has been fortunate to have had access, since the age of 11, to health care tailored specifically to adolescents. 

New Global Standards for quality health-care services for adolescents have been developed by WHO and UNAIDS to ensure better access to critical prevention and care services.