'Adolescents' health should be top priority'

As 30 per cent of India’s population is aged between 10 and 19 years, it is high time the country focused on health problems of this age group, doctors say. 

“It is estimated that there are 331 million adolescents in India; they represent a resource for the future,” Dr Hema Divakar, President, Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI), said at a function where FOGSI unveiled Vision 2022 —its initiative to build a healthy generation.

It has identified four issues in women and adolescents — anaemia, cervical cancer and diabetes besides building contraceptive choices. 

“These problems are common in both. Fifty-six per cent of adolescent girls are anaemic. If these issues are tackled, the maternal mortality ratio can be reduced,” she added. Dr Harshad Sanghvi, Director and Vice President of John’s Hopkins Program for International Education in Gynecology and Obstetrics, said that technological innovations could be rapidly adopted and implemented. 

The participants also threw light on shortage of trained doctors and health care staff. 

Prevention model

“We will introduce a primary prevention model that addresses, through innovations, the root cause of all problems. It involves raising the standards of the medical and paramedical staff. Obstetricians, gynaecologists, medical officers, primary health centre staff and nurses will be trained rigorously. We will also open DIP (Diabetes in Pregnancy) clinics,” Dr Hema added.

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