When did childhood end? This is the question international researchers ask when drawing age reduction charts for pediatric services worldwide.
A professor of health for adolescents at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute and the University of Melbourne, Susan Sawyer, says that previous research has found that global health systems do not meet the needs of adolescents.
"However, pediatricians are well placed to provide age-appropriate care
" The World Health Organization identifies adolescents between 10 and 19 years of age, but there are few studies on the age of patients who actually treat pediatricians and how The researchers developed an online survey to investigate these questions and received answers from 1,372 pediatricians in 115 countries. They report the results in a policy paper, The Age of Pediatrics, published in Health of Children and Adolescents in Lance .
"There was a striking difference in upper age by country and, disappointingly, only a handful of countries had an average upper age of 19," says Prof. Sawyer.
"South Africa had the lowest upper age of 11.5 years. , it seems that pediatrics is just about to embrace adolescence. The US had the highest upper age, at 19.5 years. "
Despite similar health systems, Australia's median age for pediatric care was 17.8 years, while for New Zealand it was 15.6 years.
" The world average is 17.4 years, "says Prof. Sawyer. "This average has been increasing over the last 20 years, rapidly in some countries."
"The discipline of pediatrics has historically focused on very young children, largely neglecting adolescents, but the pattern of childhood and adolescent disease health interventions and medical progress n
"This is not reflected in adolescents whose more complex disease burden remains relatively unchanged. The World Health Organization estimates that more than one million adolescents die each year.
"Young people face childhood and adult health burdens, including chronic physical conditions such as diabetes and asthma, mental disorders, anemia, rising levels of obesity, interpersonal violence, diarrhea and bronchial diseases, abuse but with drugs and alcohol, sexually transmitted diseases and road injuries. "
Co-author Professor Jonathan Klein of the University of Illinois and Coordinator of the Executive Committee of the International Pediatric Association stated that several countries have paid sufficient attention to this
" In order to meet the health needs of young people, diverse workforce, including pediatricians, family physicians, nurses, as well as community and school health workers, all trained in adolescent health care.
"The evidence is clear. Our healthcare systems needs to be better adapted to the needs of adolescents and young people. Improving adolescent care is a critical step if we hope to deliver on the promises of the United Nations for every woman, every child and every teenager (# EWECisMe) and 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (#SDGs; #Globalgoals)
Prof. Sawyer says investment in adolescent health education training is most needed in countries with a low upper age, high numbers of adolescents or above age, has only recently risen.
"Yet the poor map of quality reports on adolescent health education around the world suggests that investment in improving adolescent health care is universal."
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When is your child an adult? (2019, September 18)
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