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According to 2001 census data, there are 225 million adolescents, which comprise nearly one-fifth (22%) of India's total population (Census 2001). Of the total adolescent population, 12% belong to the 10-14 years age group and nearly 10% are in the 15-19 years age group. This age group comprises of individuals in a transient phase of life requiring nutrition, education, counselling and guidance to ensure their development into healthy adults. However, data on adolescents from national surveys including NFHS III, DLHS III and SRS call for focused attention with respect to health for this age group.
Given the above scenario, Government of India has recognized the importance of influencing health-seeking behaviour of adolescents. The health situation of this age group is a key determinant of India's overall health, mortality, morbidity and population growth scenario. Therefore, investments in adolescent reproductive and sexual health will yield dividends in terms of delaying age at marriage, reducing incidence of teenage pregnancy, meeting unmet contraception need, reducing the maternal mortality, reducing STI incidence and reducing HIV prevalence in. It will also help India realize its demographic bonus, as healthy adolescents are an important resource for the economy.
In keeping with the spirit of convergence under NHM, the RCH-II ARSH strategy emphasizes the need for inter-sectoral linkage with other Departments at the policy and programme levels to create a supportive environment for adolescent interventions and to improve awareness levels among adolescents.
The public health system at the primary health care level is to be reorganized to cater to the service needs of a adolescents.
Special focus is to be given on linking up with ICTCs and establishing appropriate referrals for HIV/AIDS and RTI/STI cases. Operational links are being proposed between RCH-II and National AIDS Control Programme Phase-III.
- Women & Child Development:- Kishori Shakti Yojna, Balika Samridhi Yojana, Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (SABLA);
- Human Resource Development:- Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan; National Population Education Project , (NPEP); Adolescence Education Program (AEP)
- Youth Affairs & Sports:- Adolescent Empowerment Scheme; National Service Scheme; Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) Programs, National Program for Youth and Adolescent Development (NPYAD)
- Others like:- Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985; AH Strategy
The goals of the Government of India RCH-II programme are reduction in IMR, MMR and TFR. In order to achieve these goals, RCH-II has four technical strategies. One of these four is Adolescent and reproductive Health.