The children

Early years

Pre-School Years




© UNICEF Mongolia/2004/Victor Karunan

As defined by the Word Health Organization, the term adolescents refer to girls and boys aged 10-19. The estimated number of adolescents in Mongolia is 580,700, which is one quarter of the total population. Adolescence is the transitional and sensitive age when an individual undergoes major physical, emotional and behavioural changes in a gradual transition towards adulthood. In addition the current generation of adolescents in Mongolia has to adapt with rapid political, economic and social change in society.

During the adolescence period a child is vulnerable to adopting unsafe and unhealthy behaviour practices, and association with peer groups is important. Sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS, tobacco, alcohol, drug abuse, violence and suicides are common problems that occur during this stage of the life cycle. However, when young people have the right kind of information and skills, and are able to participate in programmes with support from adults, these negative behaviours can be reversed. Promoting a culture of conflict resolution and incubating positive values and norms during a transition to adulthood is a major potential area for the period of adolescence. Adolescents constitute a specific group of population with specific sexual and reproductive health needs, distinct from other age groups.

Childbirth among adolescent girls tends to decrease. However, the percentage of youth who have undergone abortions and young people infected with STI is still not under decline. The health indicators for 1999-2003 showed abortion rates among adolescent girls fluctuating between 5.7-8.3%. STI constitute between 36-42% of all communicable diseases, and about 50% of annual STI infections are among young people under 25 years old. The health indicators for 1999-2003 revealed that 15-20 adolescents per 10,000 were infected with STI, indicating that the rate of STI among adolescents is not declining. The supply of essential drugs for STI has reached 80% in urban and 70% in rural areas in 2004.

Between 1998 and 2003 the proportion of adolescents starting childbearing has declined from 9% to 7%. However, in 2003 the percentage in rural areas is with 12% significantly higher than in urban areas. Among all adolescents, 4% are currently using a modern contraceptive method, while among married adolescents the percentage is 27%.





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