Adolescent Health National Strategic Plan 2019-2030
Mapping a holistic approach to adolescent health and development
In Belize, the adolescent population of approximately 97,000 (aged 10-19) accounts for 20% of the total population. Adolescence is a defining time in the development of a child that is characterized by rapid physical growth and neurological sculpting, the onset of puberty and sexual maturity. It is a critical period for individual identity development when young people are figuring out who they want to be in the world, an opportunity for growth, exploration and creativity.
Adolescents are particularly underserved by health programs in Belize. Critical adolescent health issues in Belize include adolescent pregnancy, mental health support, preventing violence and injury including sexual and gun violence and road traffic accidents, preventing cervical cancer through human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, preventing iron deficiency anemia, HIV, obesity and other non-communicable diseases.
The Adolescent Health National Strategic Plan 2019-2030 was commissioned by the Chief Executive Officers (CEO) from the Ministry of Health & Wellness (MOHW); Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology (MoECST); the Ministry of Human Development, Families and Indigenous Peoples Affairs (MHDFIPA) and supported by a technical working group that spearheaded the development of the strategy and included key line ministries, youth-based organizations and UN Agencies. This plan seeks to improve opportunities for positive development for adolescents through strategic investments that will have profound impact on their lives and will benefit our society and economy at large. This plan outlines the necessary actions and key players to ensure affordable, effective and efficient structures that align all sectors to working toward the well-being of adolescents.
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Adolescent Health National Strategic Plan Objectives and Pillars
The plan seeks to transform the lives of adolescents by coordinating key sectors around three outcomes to provide critical support through this transitional period.
1. Adolescents have access to quality services through improved multi sector collaboration resulting in highly satisfied adolescents.
2. Adolescents achieve positive cognitive, sexual, social, and physical development to reduce risk behaviors.
3. Adolescents grow, participate and develop in healthy, nurturing and safe environments where health and wellbeing are promoted by all at community level.