Source: China State Council Information Office 2
A supplement to the Journal of Adolescent Health was jointly released by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Peking University Health Science Center (PUHSC) in Beijing on Tuesday.
The supplement, titled Adolescent Health in China: Epidemiology, Policy, Financing and Service Provision, is comprised of six articles developed by UNICEF in partnership with the PUHSC and other institutions over the past two years.
The collection of articles aims to offer a comprehensive overview of adolescent health needs in China, and investments needed to sustain and build on improvements over the longer term.
According to an editorial in the supplement, China has experienced impressive improvements in adolescent survival and health over the past three decades. For example, from 1990-2018, mortality among 5- to 14-year-olds declined from eight to two per 1,000 in China, representing a much faster decrease than the global average.
However, articles in the supplement point out that the adolescent mortality burden since the 1950s has shifted from communicable to non-communicable diseases. This requires a review and update of relevant health policies, the pattern and percentage of health expenditure, as well as the quality and types of health service provided to youngsters.
Updated policies for equal development are also needed, as indicated in a paper analyzing the health needs of the under-resourced population of left-behind adolescents.
The supplement makes a strong case for broadening the adolescent health agenda to meet current needs in adolescent nutrition, mental wellbeing, and prevention of injuries and non-communicable diseases. It also offers a framework of adolescent health indicators, and a system for monitoring change that is aligned with the health needs of Chinese adolescents.
At the launch event, Zhang Ning, vice president of the PUHSC, said that the series of results presented will make a vital contribution to policymaking and research concerning child and adolescent health.
Song Li, deputy director of the Department of Maternal and Child Health at the National Health Commission (NHC), said: “The Chinese government is highly committed to adolescent health. Sets of indicators and measures listed in the Healthy China 2030 blueprint and the China National Program for Child Development (2011-2020) are relevant to adolescent health.”
“In recent years, the NHC has been making great efforts to explore effective service models, enhance service capacity, and promote adolescent health and development. We hope different departments can strengthen communication and cooperation, and society can pay more attention to adolescent health,” said Song.
Douglas Noble, deputy representative to UNICEF China, said: “UNICEF will continue to strengthen cooperation with academic groups and governments, provide support for research on adolescent health, and keep accelerating advocacy and promoting the adolescent health agenda to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.”
The Journal of Adolescent Health is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary scientific journal dedicated to improving the health and well-being of adolescents and young adults.
The launch of the supplement was attended by officials from the NHC, Ministry of Finance, All-China Youth Federation, Development Research Center of the State Council and other relevant departments.
Also present at the event were faculty members and students from academic organizations such as Peking University. Experts from the Journal of Adolescent Health, Johns Hopkins University, Melbourne University, UNICEF Headquarters, World Health Organization China, United Nations Population Fund China, United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization China Office, and other institutions were also in attendance.