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Adolescent and Youth Health and

Development Program (AYHDP)

In line with the global policy changes on adolescents and youth, the DOH created the
Adolescent and Youth Health and Development Program (AYHDP) which is lodged at
the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control (NCDPC) specifically the Center
for Family and Environmental Health (CFEH). The program is an expanded version of
Adolescent Reproductive Health (ARH) element of Reproductive Health which aims to
integrate adolescent and youth health services into the health delivery systems.

The DOH, with the participation of other line agencies, partners from the medical
discipline, NGOs and donor agencies have developed a policy on adolescent and youth
health as well as complementary guidelines and service protocol to ensure young
peoples’ health needs are given attention.

The Program shall mainly focus on addressing the following health concerns regardless
of their sex, race and socioeconomic background:

* Growth and Development concerns Nutrition Physical, mental and emotional status
* Reproductive Health Sexuality Reproductive Tract Infection (STD, HIV/AIDS)
Responsible Parenthood Maternal & Child Health

* Communicable Diseases Diarrhea, Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever, Measles, Malaria, etc.

* Mental Health Substance use and abuse

* Intentional / non-intentional injuries Disability

Other issues and concerns such as vocational, education, social and employment needs
where the DOH has no direct mandate nor control, shall be coordinated closely with other
concerned line agencies, and NGOs.


Well-informed, empowered, responsible and healthy adolescents and youth.


Ensure that all adolescent and youth have access to quality health care services in an
adolescent and youth friendly environment.

The total health, well being and self esteem of young people are promoted.

By the year 2004:

Health Status Objectives:

* reduce the mortality rate among adolescents and youth

Risk Reduction Objectives:

* reduce the proportion of teenage girls (15-19 years old) who began child bearing to 3.5
% (baseline-7% in 1998 NDHS)

* increase the health care – seeking behavior of adolescents to 50% (baseline: still to be

* increase the knowledge and awareness level of adolescent on fertility, sexuality and
sexual health to 80% (baseline: still to be established)

* increase the knowledge and awareness level of adolescents on accident and injury
prevention to 50% (baseline: still to be established) Services and Protection Objectives:

* increase the percentage of health facilities providing basic health services including
counseling for adolescents and youth to 70%. (baseline- still to be established)

* establish specialized services for occupational illnesses, victims of rape and violence,
substance abuse in 50% of DOH hospitals

* integrate gender-sensitivity training and reproductive health in the secondary school


* Establish resource centers or one stop shop for adolescents and youth in each province.

Guiding Principles:

1. Involvement of the youth

The AYHDP shall involve the young people in the design, planning implementation,
monitoring and evaluation of activities and program to ensure that it is acceptable,
appealing and relevant to them. In so doing, they become part of the solution rather than
the problem. Further, it:

(1) favors the acquisition of valuable skills including interpersonal skills,

(2) gives young people self confidence,

(3) promotes individual self esteem and competence, and

(4) contributes to a sense of belonging.

2. Rights Based Approach

In all aspects of program implementation, the promotion of young peoples’ rights shall be
applied. This is to ensure protection of adolescent and youth against neglect, abuse and
exploitation and guaranteeing to them their basic human rights including survival,
development and full participation in social, cultural, educational and other endeavors
necessary for their individual growth and well being.

3. Diversity of adolescents needs and problems

The program shall recognize the diverse characteristic and needs of adolescents in
different situations. Their concerns and perception vary by demographic and socio-
economic characteristics, sex and circumstances. But even how diverse the problems are,
oftentimes they have common roots, its underlying causes are closely connected and the
solutions are similar and interrelated. They are addressed most effectively by a
combination of intervention that promote healthy development.

4. Gender & health perspective

A gender perspective shall be adopted in all processes of policy formulation,

implementation and in the delivery of services, especially sexual and reproductive health.
This perspective will act upon inequalities that arise from belonging to one sex or the
other, or from the unequal power relation between sexes. Adolescents have distinct and
complex gender differences in behavior patterns, socialization process and expected roles
in family, community and society. A gender gap exist in terms of opportunities in
education and employment and access to health services. Girls are often victims of
traditional, discriminatory and harmful practices, including sexual abuse and exploitation.
Besides, their individual development needs are also neglected because of the persistent
and stereotypical roles that they are expected to perform. On the other hand, young boys
can be particularly vulnerable, such as those in situations in armed conflict or crises.
Adults often perpetuate traditional gender roles that trap young people in high – risk
behavior. They can therefore play a major role in helping them change their attitudes and
prevent exploitation of adolescents.

Program Strategies:

The DOH shall adopt a two pronged inextricably linked and overarching strategies:

* To Promote healthy development among young adults by building their life coping
skills; promoting positive values and by creating a safe and supportive environment for
their growth and development;

* To prevent and respond to adolescent health problems through provision of adequate,

accurate and timely information about their health, rights and other issues and through the
availability of integrated, quality and gender sensitive adolescent health services that will
bring about positive behavior and healthy lifestyle.

1. Service provision The program shall ensure the access and provision of quality gender
responsive biomedical and psychosocial services. Eventually, these will contribute to the
reduction of maternal, infant, child and young peoples’ morbidity and mortality, ensure
the quality of life of the families and communities; and promote total health and well
being of Filipino adolescents and youth.

2. Education and Information

Early education and information sharing for adolescents and service information
providers: the parents, teachers, communities, church, health staff, media and NGOs on
adolescent health concerns and an intensified and responsive counseling services geared
towards adolescent health shall be done. This aims to increase knowledge and
understanding of a particular health issue, and with the explicit intention of motivating
the young people to adopt healthy behavior and to prevent health hazards such as
unwanted pregnancies, STDs, substance use / abuse, violent behavior and nutritional

3. Building skills

Adolescents and youth shall have life skills training to enable them to deal effectively
with the demands and challenges of everyday life. It refers to skills that enhance
psychosocial development, decision making and problem solving; creative and critical
thinking; communication and interpersonal relations , self awareness, coping with
emotions and causes of stress. Examples of these skills are:

* Self care skills eg. how to plan and prepare healthy meals or ensure good personal
hygiene and appearance. * Livelihood skills eg. how to obtain and keep work.

* Skills for dealing with specific risky situations eg. how to say no when under peer
pressure to use drug. Further, life skills shall be integrated in the training module for
health workers as well as in the school curricula. On the other hand, service providers,
parents and teachers shall also be equipped with competencies to influence behavior of
adolescents and promote healthy development and prevent health problems.

4. Promoting a safe and supportive environment

A safe and supportive environment is part of what motivates young people to make
healthy decisions. It refers to an environment that:

(1) nurtures and guides young people towards healthy development;

(2) provides the least trauma, excessive stress, violence and abuse;
(3) provides a positive close relationship with family, other adults and peers;

(4) provides specific support in making individual responsible behavior choices. While
intervention should now focus on the action that will facilitate growth and development
and encourage adolescents and youth to practice healthy behavior, the following major
aspects of social environment have to be considered:

1. Relationship with families, service providers and significant others.

Adults contribute to a supportive climate for behavioral choices through positive

relationship. They can substantially enrich the lives of young people through their
fundamental role as parents and care-givers

2. Social norms and cultural practices

This involve what people typically do in all areas of life and peoples expectation of
others. These forces usually shape the lives of young people thus it is important to take
note of the attitudes and practices that are harmful to them. Attitudes and norms
concerning (a)early marriage, (b)sexual behavior among young people, (c)access to
information about sexuality may need to be addressed.

3. Mass Media and entertainment

The media is a very important component in influencing social norms that encourage
adolescent to make responsible health behavior choices. It also provides great potential to
communicate and mobilize community support on adolescent health issues.

4. Policies and legislation

Promoting policies and legislation for adolescent health can ensure young people have
the opportunities and services they need to promote and protect their own health.

5. Monitoring and Evaluation

This is to ensure the smooth implementation of the program. Regular monitoring and
evaluation will be conducted to identify the status, issues, gaps and recommendations. A
scheme shall be developed which will include indicators, monitoring tools and checklist.
Monitoring will be through conduct of field visits, consultative meeting and program
implementation review.

6. Resource mobilization

The Department of Health have prepared a 10 year work plan for AYHDP. The
budgetary requirements will be sourced out from national and international donor
agencies. Advocacy with LGUs, other GOs and NGOs shall be conducted on sharing of
existing resources where AYHDP will be integrated.