GENEVA: The first study of global patterns of death among people aged between 10-24 years of age has found that road traffic accidents, complications during pregnancy and child birth, suicide, violence, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB) are the major causes of mortality. Most causes of death of young people are preventable and treatable. The study, which was supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and published in The Lancet medical journal, found that 2.6 million young people are dying each year, with 97% of these deaths taking place in low- and middle-income countries.
There are more young people in the world today than ever before — 1.8 billion, accounting for 30% of the world’s population. Until now, there has been very little information available on the causes of death among young people globally and by region. This study is intended to inform the development of policies and programmes to ensure that they improve the lives, and prevent the deaths, of young people.
Daisy Mafubelu, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Family and Community Health, said: “Young people are transitioning from childhood to adulthood – at the threshold of becoming productive members of society – yet they often fall through the cracks. It is clear from these findings that considerable investment is needed – not only from the health sector, but also from sectors including education, welfare, transport, and justice – to improve access to information and services, and help young people avoid risky behaviours that can lead to death.”
WHO recommends the following interventions to promote safe behaviours, improve health and prevent deaths among young people: