Adolescents are more exposed to accidents and injuries, unintended pregnancies and the physical, mental and economic repercussions of birth defects, HIV and AIDS, and non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease.
For children and adolescents in emergency and humanitarian settings, health risks escalate. Life-saving health services are often unavailable or inaccessible, making newborns, children, adolescents and mothers particularly vulnerable to harm.
In the coming decades, demographic changes threaten to strain global health systems. Some 2 billion births are projected worldwide between 2018 and 2050. Africa remains the world’s only region anticipating a substantial increase in births, with repercussions for thinly stretched health systems. In Asia, ageing populations are also expected to put pressure on health systems.