MDG 5 - IMPROVE MATERNAL HEALTH
PRESS RELEASE - ISSUED ON 8th March 2010
International Women's Day - 8th March 2010
On International Women's Day 2010, SOS Malta calls for ‘making adolescents a priority by investing in their health, education and livelihoods. Strengthen health systems with sexual and reproductive health as a priority. If a health system can deliver for adolescents, it is a strong health system for all.'
More than a quarter of the world's population is between the ages of 10 and 21. Most (86%) of the world's 1.7 billion young people live in developing countries, where they often make up 30% or more of the population.
Young people face serious health challenges
About half of all HIV infections are in people under 25, with girls disproportionately affected.
On average, one-third of women in developing countries give birth before age 20; a large proportion of these pregnancies are unplanned.
Teen mothers are twice as likely as older women to die of pregnancy-related causes, and their own children are at higher risk of illness and death.
Nutritional deficiencies such as anemia are widespread in both young men and women. They increase the risks that girls and young women face during pregnancy and childbirth.
Investing in health and development of young people is not only the right thing to do, it's the smart thing for countries that want their economies to grow faster
Reducing HIV infection in young people will reduce the devastating economic impact of HIV/AIDS.
When young people postpone marriage and childbearing, family size falls and population growth
slows. Combined with investments in health and education, these changes contribute to higher economic growth and incomes.
The importance of Adolescent Health and Development to achieving the Millennium Development Goals
Most of the Millennium Development Goals are highly relevant to the health and welfare of youth. Better adolescent health will directly contribute to achieving five of the eight internationally agreed-upon goals: reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS; reducing maternal deaths; reducing infant and child deaths; developing and implementing strategies for decent and productive work for youth; and reducing poverty.
The Save Womens Lives project is being funded by the European Commission in the framework of the thematic programme 'Non State Actors and Local Authorities in Development. The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of SOS Malta and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.