adolescents

Involve children and young people in assessing the impact of school closures on their wellbeing and developing strategies for post-COVID-19 schooling

Involve children and young people in assessing the impact of school closures on their wellbeing and developing strategies for post-COVID-19 schooling

Article published in MDPI on 5 September 2021

Nearly 200 countries have implemented school closures to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Although these closures have seemed necessary, there have been serious concerns about their effects on the well-being of children and adolescents. To truly understand the impact of these closures on children’s and adolescent’s well-being, and their suggestions for the future, it is important to adopt new approaches to collecting data that will ensure the right of children and adolescents to be heard on issues that affect them.

Current methods of assessing the impacts of school closure are dominated by the collection of information about children and adolescents, mainly using existing wellbeing indicators and related questionnaire surveys. While these sources of information are important, they provide only a limited understanding of how children and adolescents have experienced school closure, especially if they have been produced using measures developed solely by adults. There is a need for information produced by children and adolescents themselves, which may need to go beyond existing theoretical frameworks of wellbeing that predate COVID-19.

By gathering information from children and adolescents, the authors of this paper[1] show that we can more effectively guide the development and evaluation of public health policies and identify solutions to mitigate the negative impacts of school closures, or to recognise and respond to any positive effects.

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[1] Paakkari, L., Jourdan, D., Inchley, J., & Torppa, M. (2021). The Impact of School Closure on Adolescents’ Wellbeing, and Steps toward to a New Normal : The Need for an Assessment Tool Update? Adolescents1(3), 360‑362. https://doi.org/10.3390/adolescents1030027

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Making every school a health-promoting school

Making every school a health-promoting school

Virtual meeting organised by WHO and UNESCO – 22 June 2021 13.00 – 14.00 CEST

The health, well-being and education of children and young people are closely intertwined. With a vision that every school around the world becomes a Health-Promoting School (HPS), UNESCO and the World Health Organization (WHO) have developed a joint initiative to support Member States strengthen the health promoting function of education systems. 

This global launch will feature the introduction of the initiative and present a newly-developed guidance package consisting of four publications

  1. Global standards and indicators for health-promoting schools and systems; 
  2. Implementation guidance; 
  3. Country case studies; and
  4. Guideline for school health services. 

Global and country-level stakeholders, including representatives from government and school communities will present their perspectives and experiences in implementing school health and health-promoting school approaches. 

The event will be available in English, French, Arabic and Spanish

Agenda

  • Statements by the Directors General of WHO and UNESCO (TBC)
  • Presentation: Towards global standards for health-promoting schools for all
  • Roundtable 1: Voices from the school community
  • Roundtable 2: Perspectives of national policymakers
  • Roundtable 3: Perspectives of development partners
  • Conclusion and closing remarks

For more information contact: healthpromotion@who.int

To register: https://who.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_2tS0XUbFSra_2-YOJBWNQg

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Article: Co-operation and consistency: a global survey of professionals involved in reopening schools during the COVID-19 pandemic

Article: Co-operation and consistency: a global survey of professionals involved in reopening schools during the COVID-19 pandemic

During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, schools closed in haste and were expected to create virtual learning opportunities for their students while they waited to see when and how they might re-open. National governments issued reopening guidance at varying speeds. The purpose of the study described in this article [1] was to invite health and education professionals to share what was happening in their country about school reopening in terms of the features and implications of the guidance issued. A semi-structured questionnaire was distributed through the global community of UNESCO Chair ‘Global Health and Education’ and partner organisations.

There were 192 useable responses from 43 countries and territories and 1 multi-country region. 20 of these, mainly in the Global North, had received reopening guidance, 23 were still waiting and 1 had not closed its schools. Guidance prioritised public health measures like social distancing, with less emphasis on education impacts. Success came from partnerships between schools, families and local authorities, consistent guidance and enough time and resources for implementation. Fear of infection led to significant absenteeism among students and staff. Respondents waiting for guidance, mainly in the Global South, shared similar concerns and expectations.

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[1] Gray, N.J. and Jourdan, D. (2021), “Co-operation and consistency: a global survey of professionals involved in reopening schools during the COVID-19 pandemic”, Health Education, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/HE-07-2020-0054

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Webinar – Exploring Global Inequalities in Adolescent Health and Healthcare

Webinar – Exploring Global Inequalities in Adolescent Health and Healthcare

On 25 March 2021 from 13.00 – 14.00 CET, the interactive webinar “Exploring Global Inequalities in Adolescent Health and Healthcare” will take place. The webinar is organised by the UNESCO Chair and WHO Collaborating Center Global Health & Education as part of the International Adolescent Health Week, in collaboration with the International Association for Adolescent Health, the EUPHA section on Child and Adolescent Public Health. The webinar will be held in English.

Our world is home to the largest generation of adolescents ever. Our future global success and prosperity depends on their sustained health and wellbeing. And yet the amount of investment in adolescent health is traditionally very low. This forms the backdrop to a range of health inequalities, and yet the adolescent population has arguably had the least attention of all age groups on this topic. For many disadvantaged, deprived and discriminated youth, health system accessibility and utilization are substantially and unacceptably lower compared to the general population. To increase health system accessibility and utilization in underserved communities, barriers must be removed. In this webinar, examples of underserved communities are presented, as well as possible solutions to make global health systems available, acceptable and affordable for every adolescent.

The webinar will start with an introduction from Professor Sir Michael Marmot, Professor of Epidemiology, University College London; Director of the UCL Institute of Health Equity. The experts Professor Susan Sawyer, president International Association for Adolescent Health, The University of Melbourne, Australia and Associated professor Danielle Jansen, immediate past president EUPHA Section on Child and Adolescent Public Health, University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), the Netherlands, will then address the following questions:

  1. What do we know about global inequalities in adolescent health outcomes?
  2. Which health service barriers linked to health inequalities do adolescents experience in Europe?
  3. How can we use this knowledge to redesign healthcare systems to minimise adolescent health inequalities?

Link to join the webinar

More information

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International Adolescent Health Week

International Adolescent Health Week

International Adolescent Health Week, celebrated the 3rd full week in March yearly, is a grass-roots initiative for young people, their health care providers, their teachers, their parents, their advocates and their communities to come together and celebrate young people and with an ultimate goal of working collectively towards improving the health and well-being of the over 1 billion adolescents across the globe today.

The Mission of International Adolescent Health Week is to inspire adolescents and their communities to advocate for a successful transition into adulthood.​ It is based on the idea that small actions by many people working together create big changes.

Lime green is the official colour of International Adolescent Health Week.

International Adolescent Health Week is supported by members of the Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine and the International Association of Adolescent Health.

The UNESCO Chair supports and participates in the International Adolescent Health Week, with the organisation of two events

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The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health – Podcast

The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health – Podcast

In Conversation With… Didier Jourdan & Nicola Gray

Didier Jourdan & Nicola Gray join The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health Editor-in-chief Jane Godsland to discuss how and why child health professionals should be supporting schools to become the foundation of a healthy life.

Didier Jourdan & Nicola Gray are the lead authors of the viewpoint “Supporting every school to become a foundation for healthy lives” which was published in the Lancet on Friday 22 January 2021

Listen to the podcast

Read the viewpoint article

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