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by Murtaza.Vaid, Pakistan Jul 10, 2002
Health   Opinions


Health is a positive. It is not just the absence of illness. It is not something that the lucky few have, and others don’t. It can be within the reach of any individual. But there are many things outside an individual’s control that affect it too.

That means there are plenty of health issues to explore. You can examine the obstacles facing young people that prevent them from developing positive relationships with their mind and bodies. You can also look at the external factors that can prevent people from living in good health. These include poverty, access to clean water and control over their own bodies. Millions of people worldwide do not have these.


Get talking about health by using this list of factors that might affect health. Play it as a dash-around-the-room game. Label opposite ends of your room as ‘a lot’ and ‘not at all’. Ask young people to gather in the middle. Then read out one of the phrases below and ask young people to dash to a point between the two walls that corresponds to their view

Explore the differences and have a quick chat about any point raised. Then move on. Keep up the pace. How do these affect health-a lot or not at all?

Having arguments
How rich you are
Living in a city
How healthy your parents are
Traffic fumes
What you eat
What you wear
How you exercise
Government policies on health what you learn about nutrition at school

Once young people are familiar with the idea that they can have some control over their own health, you might like to explore together some aspects in greater depth. You might also like to look more closely at factors that are barriers to good health. There are many opportunities to become politically active, campaigning for those living in poverty.


Here are four quick questions that focus on young people health’s world wide. They should make you pause for thought. They are intended to change the assumption that many young people have that they are going to live forever and health worries are only relevant to older people.

1. One group of diseases is more common among young people aged 15 to 25 than in other age group. Which diseases?
Answer: sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s). Experts say up to 60% of all new HIV infections will be in this age group.

2. Some teenagers start doing something that will contribute to the death of half of them. What is it?

Answer: Smoking.

3. Health-wise, is it good or bad for women to have babies in their teens?
Answer: Bad, Pregnancy in adolescence carries a high risk of death or long-term complications. Maternal mortality rates at ages 15-19 are double the rates at 20-24. For 10-14 years olds the mortality rates in some countries are five time higher.

4. One cause of death appears to be rising faster among young people than in any other age group. What is it?

Answer: Suicide. For every death by suicide in the developed world, there are 40 attempted suicides by teenagers.



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Derrick Tai | Mar 9th, 2003
excellent stuff, where do you get your source info from?

Mark Liang Rui Shen | Oct 14th, 2003

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