WASHINGTON (May 17, 2017): Above 1.2 million youth die every year around the word from causes that are largely preventable, says World Health Organization (WHO).
WHO said in report that the leading cause of death among 10- to 19-year-olds globally in 2015 was road injury, which killed more than 115,000 people, followed by lower respiratory infections and self-harm.
The report said that two-thirds of deaths among adolescents occur in Southeast Asia and Africa.
“Adolescents have been entirely absent from national health plans for decades,” said Dr. Flavia Bustreo, assistant director-general at the WHO, in a statement. “Relatively small investments focused on adolescents now will not only result in healthy and empowered adults who thrive and contribute positively to their communities, but it will also result in healthier future generations, yielding enormous returns.”
Factors such as poor diet, lack of exercise can impact health throughout a person’s life, also begin during adolescence and need to be taken into account, according to the report.
Though road injuries were the greatest cause of death globally, data showed them to be particularly harmful for boys 15 to 19 years old; most of them were non-drivers, such as pedestrians and cyclists. The second leading cause of death for boys was interpersonal violence, such as physical or emotional threats.