The 4th IAAH (International Association for Adolescent Health) MENA (Middle East and North Africa) Region Adolescent Health Conference was held from 1-3 December 2021 in Hurghada, Egypt.
The main theme of the conference was: “Adolescent Care, Leaving No One Behind”. The conference aimed to break the silence around the unmet needs of the large and increasing group of disadvantaged adolescents in the Middle East and North Africa region who are chronically ill or disabled, belong to an ethnic minority, live in a disadvantaged socio-economic environment or are displaced due to political violence. It also emphasized that investing in the health, development and well-being of adolescents in general is the most cost-effective investment a nation can make for the future.
The declaration of the conference reminds states of the necessity to systematically strengthen health systems, while ensuring a multi-sectoral approach, so as to encompass the socio-ecological determinants of adolescent health. It also emphasizes the life course perspective to health and that failing to address adolescents’ health needs will inevitably impact future adult health and subsequent generations. The declarations calls to:
- Acknowledge adolescence as a distinct period in life.
- Adopt equity-based policies and strategies that are inclusive of all adolescents.
- Recognize the fact that learning, education, and health are deeply intertwined, and therefore, through strong collaborations between Ministries of Health and Education, support each and every school to be a health promoting center.
- Capitalize on all settings of adolescent learning (formal, non-formal, and informal) to integrate aspects of health promotion and prevention.
- Take active measures to educate adolescents about sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in formal, informal, non-formal education, and work settings and in manners that are culturally sensitive.
- Recognize that adolescents and youth are true change agents and genuinely involve them in active and transformative participation.
- And more…
More information: Conference website