Adolescent Health and Empowerment

Talkup Yout' School Tours


Adolescent Health and Empowerment

Life Skills ▪ Access to Services ▪ Participation


The Vision

Vulnerable adolescents and youth – including children dealing with substance abuse, mental health challenges and sexual/reproductive issues – get the services, information, skills and opportunities they need to manage issues affecting them ways that build their confidence, increase resilience and reduce vulnerability.

The Situation

  • 18% of live births are among teen mothers 15-19 years (2008)
  • Adolescent boys and girls are among the most at risk for HIV infection due to a prevailing culture of multiple sex partnerships and inconsistent condom use
  • Girls 10-19 are three times more likely than boys to be HIV infected, as a result of early sexual initiation, sexual relations with HIV-infected older men, forced sex and prevalent unsafe sexual practices
  • 37% of sexually active respondents had sex in exchange for money or gifts in the past 12 months and 43% did not use a condom the last time they had sex
  • 33% of girls and 18% of boys ages 10-15 did not consent to their first sexual encounter 
  • 26% of men who sleep with men ages 15-24 years are HIV infected (2010)
  • 58% of adolescent boys and 47% of adolescent girls aged 13-15 years consumed alcohol in the past 30 days (2010)
  • 25% of adolescents aged 15-19 years are overweight or obese
  • 21.1% of female and 23.1% of male students (13-15 years) attempted suicide one or more times during the past 12 months (2010)

The Strategies


Ensure minimum standards/protocols and referral mechanisms for HIV/STI and mental health services, to meet the specific needs of adolescents and young people.

Build the capacity of healthcare workers who interface with adolescents to deliver better quality and more child-friendly services.


Equip vulnerable and hard-to-reach adolescents with knowledge and life skills to improve their health seeking behaviours and to access key health, second-chance education and protective services.

Where possible, engage parents of adolescents to build their skills to better communicate and strengthen the protective environment for adolescents and young people.

Engage at-risk adolescents and young people through culturally appropriate methods, including sports and artistic activities that build critical life skills.



Strengthen and develop governance mechanisms at parish and regional levels to ensure that marginalized groups have a say in decision-making.


Improve collection, analysis and use of data about the most vulnerable populations, to strengthen advocacy, programming and monitoring.


Key strategic partners:

Ministry of Health

Ministry of Education

 Ministry of Youth and Culture

 Department of Local Government

 Sports Development Foundation

 United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

 Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO)

 United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

 UN Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)











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