140th WHO Executive Board Meeting
Geneva - Switzerland

Agenda Item:
11.3 Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016–2030):
adolescents’ health


I speak on behalf of the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation, the leading global advocacy
organisation for pharmaceutical students and recent graduates.

IPSF is delighted to see the updated Global Health Strategy. The survival, health and wellbeing of women,
children and adolescents are essential to achieving all Sustainable Development Goals.

The 2 leading causes of death for adolescent girls are suicide and complications during pregnancy and
childbirth. 2.5 million girls give birth under the age of 16 whilst 15 million are married before the age of 18.
Girls who are subject to these abuses are unaware of their reproductive rights nor are they educated on
reproductive health. IPSF encourages member states to incorporate women in girls’ sexual education; increase
their access to social assistance; and ensure that healthcare professionals remain unbiased and uninfluenced by
cultural norms.

In an event of war, natural disaster or other emergency, populations become displaced. Adolescents’ and women
are particularly subject to psychological trauma consequently affecting their ability to integrate into societies
and reducing their quality of life. Knowing that almost 60% of those in fragile states are young people, IPSF
believes there is a need for increased psychosocial support in these situations.

In conclusion, further investment is needed to strengthen health systems aiming to respond to not only the
physical needs but also the mental needs of adolescents displaced due to emergency situations. More effort and
resources are needed to ensure proper treatment for mental health which will ensure easier integration into
societies of host communities.

If you want to change the world, educate a girl. Provide her with the resources and opportunities to avoid child
marriage, unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases; and supply her with psychological help
needed. In the long term this benefits society as a whole.

Thank you

Speaker :

Ms Sabrine Chengane
IPSF Chairperson of Public Health

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