Youth and health in the Commonwealth
Young people constitute about 60 per cent of the population of the Commonwealth, with three in every five Commonwealth citizen under the age of 30.
Poor health in the youth population can be detrimental to national economies, through direct economic losses for treatment and loss of productivity from indirect costs. It is widely acknowledged that health goals can be better achieved if young people are fully engaged as partners and leaders in addressing social development issues through planning, monitoring and evaluating programs and policies.
In response to this the Commonwealth Youth Health Network (YHN) is being established to partner with the Commonwealth Secretariat and member countries in achieving health-related goals particularly SDG3- to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
The network will provide a platform for collaboration with young people on important national, regional and global health issues. It will also strengthen the capacity of young people to engage with their communities, policy makers and wider stakeholders. This approach moves beyond recognising that young people are valuable human resources capable of developing into healthy and productive older adults and embraces them as catalysts for change.
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