UNESCO Chair Global Health and Education Health Education, Prevention, Health Promotion, Children and Young People

25 March 2021 – Exploring Global Inequalities in Adolescent Health and Healthcare

Global Health & Education webinar series

25 March 2021

This webinar is part of the International Adolescent Health Week


Sir Michael Marmot, Professor of Epidemiology, University College London; Director of the UCL Institute of Health Equity


Professor Susan Sawyer, president International Association for Adolescent Health, The University of Melbourne, Australia

Associated professor Danielle Jansen, immediate past president EUPHA Section on Child and Adolescent Public Health, University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), the Netherlands


Goof Buijs, manager UNESCO Chair Global Health & Education


The Journal Health Education is the official journal of our webinar series and aims to support the UNESCO Chair’s mission of sharing knowledge to support the global community.


Our world is home to the largest generation of adolescents ever. Our future global success and prosperity depends on their sustained health and wellbeing. And yet the amount of investment in adolescent health is traditionally very low. This forms the backdrop to a range of health inequalities, and yet the adolescent population has arguably had the least attention of all age groups on this topic. For many disadvantaged, deprived and discriminated youth, health system accessibility and utilization are substantially and unacceptably lower compared to the general population. To increase health system accessibility and utilization in underserved communities, barriers must be removed. In this webinar, examples of underserved communities are presented, as well as possible solutions to make global health systems available, acceptable and affordable for every adolescent. The speakers will address the following questions:

  1. What do we know about global inequalities in adolescent health outcomes?
  2. Which health service barriers linked to health inequalities do adolescents experience in Europe?
  3. How can we use this knowledge to redesign national systems to minimise adolescent health inequalities?

Our speakers’ contributions

Introduction by Professor Sir Michael Marmot

Presentation by Professor Susan Sawyer

Presentation by Associated Professor Danielle Jansen

Presentation by Professor Susan Sawyer and Associated Professor Danielle Jansen

Full video of the webinar


What is the benefit : coat ration of investing in adolescent health?

What is the most common health system barrier?

The participants’ questions and comments


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Azzopardi PS, Sawyer SM, Carlin JB, Degenhardt L, Brown N, Brown AD, Patton GC. Health and wellbeing of Indigenous adolescents in Australia: a systematic synthesis of population data. The Lancet. 2018 Feb 24;391(10122):766-82. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)32141-4

Michaud PA, Visser A, Vervoort JPM, Kocken P, Reijneveld SA, Blair M, Alexander D, Weber M & DEMC Jansen. Do European Union countries adequately address the healthcare needs of adolescents in the area of sexual reproductive health and rights? Arch Dis Child 2020;105:40–46. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/archdischild-2019-317073

Michaud PA, Visser A, Vervoort JPM, Kocken P, Reijneveld SA & DEMC Jansen. Availability and accessibility of primary mental health services for adolescents: an overview of national recommendations and services in EU. The European Journal of Public Health, 2020, 30, 1127–1133. https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckaa102

Michaud PA, Vervoort JPM, Visser A, Baltag V, Reijneveld SA, Kocken PL & DEMC Jansen. Organization and activities of school health services among EU countries. European Journal of Public Health, 2021, 14 Feb.  https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckaa200

Sawyer SM, Afifi RA, Bearinger LH, Blakemore SJ, Dick B, Ezeh AC, Patton GC. Adolescence: a foundation for future health. The lancet. 2012 Apr 28;379(9826):1630-40. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60072-5

Sawyer SM, Azzopardi PS, Wickramarathne D, Patton GC. The age of adolescence. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health. 2018 Mar 1;2(3):223-8. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2352-4642(18)30022-1

Sheehan P, Sweeny K, Rasmussen B, Wils A, Friedman HS, Mahon J, Patton GC, Sawyer SM, Howard E, Symons J, Stenberg K. Building the foundations for sustainable development: a case for global investment in the capabilities of adolescents. The Lancet. 2017 Oct 14;390(10104):1792-806. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)30872-3

Viner RM, Ozer EM, Denny S, Marmot M, Resnick M, Fatusi A, Currie C. Adolescence and the social determinants of health. The lancet. 2012 Apr 28;379(9826):1641-52. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60149-4

Health systems, health and wealth: Assessing the case for investing in health systems: https://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/83997/E93699.pdf

This webinar is organised by the UNESCO Chair and WHO Collaborating Center Global Health & Education as part of the International Adolescent Health Week, in collaboration with the International Association for Adolescent Health, the EUPHA section on Child and Adolescent Public Health and supported by Emerald Publishing.