The 3rd Global Youth Meet (GYM) on Youth, Health and Development during November 29- December 2, 2015 in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India. GYM 2015 is being organized by HRIDAY (Health Related Information Dissemination Amongst Youth) in partnership with the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and Visakhapatnam-based Visakha HRIDAY-SHAN. The beautiful coastal city of Vishakhapatnam is well connected through daily flights from Singapore, Dubai, Malaysia and the Indian cities of Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Cochin, Kolkata and Delhi. Nearly 300 youth from over 35 countries and various states of India will participate to discuss changing youth health priorities in wake of the global sustainable development agenda. GYM 2015 aims to empower youth with leadership and advocacy skills which will enable them to identify and address global health concerns like noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in the context of the post-2015 development agenda.
GYM 2015 is being organized in technical partnership with the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI); World Heart Federation (WHF); United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP); Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI), American Cancer Society (ACS), NCD Child and Sustainable Development Solution Network (SDSN).
Why Adolescents and Youth?
Adolescents and youth, globally, comprising of a quarter of the world’s population, come across diverse political, economic, social and cultural realities. Globalisation exposes youth to a dichotomy of situations that transgress burgeoning economies and trans-cultural exchanges. They are also subjected to inequitable conditions particularly in developing and under-developed regions of the world. There are ramifications of nutritional imbalances, mental health disorders, HIV/AIDS, STIs, child marriage, teenage pregnancies which are further complicated by substance abuse (such as tobacco & alcohol), obesity & over-weight concerns, domestic & social violence, injuries and suicide. In order to positively alter behavioural patterns of any population, intervention through health education at an early age is imperative. The ‘youth empowerment’ framework regards youth as community assets who are empowered to better their own lives as well as of those in the community. Adolescence provides a window of opportunity for health promotion.
The ‘Future We Want’ document endorsed at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012, is a call to accelerate action for economic, social and environmental wellbeing and begin a process for setting sustainable development goals. The role of health is inextricably linked to the discourse of sustainable development, since low and middle income countries bear the greatest disease burden, which impedes progress. At the same time, development is a significant determinant of health. Therefore, health must not only be considered the absence of disease, but also the capacity to interact with one’s environment. Various agencies within the United Nations System are making concerted efforts to bring youth focus to their work and contribute to the Post-2015 development agenda.
At present, youth comprise of the largest section of the world’s population. It is imperative that the energy of this demographic dividend is harnessed to promote sustainable development. Some of the main considerations for youth include education, employment and health. Quality education leads to formation of a strong and skilled labour force and health forms a central pillar in this transition.
Youth are vulnerable to risk factors related to NCDs including tobacco and alcohol use, unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles and therefore must be involved while addressing preventive health needs. Minimizing risk factors early on, contributes to improved health, more productive years and lower healthcare costs. Adolescence is the ideal phase to build healthy habits and develop advocacy skills. With worldwide focus on the Post-2015 development agenda, sensitized youth can play a crucial role in positioning health in the broader framework of SDGs. Sustainable development warrants focus on ‘achieving health and well being at all ages’. Youth deserve a platform to voice their priorities and ensure sustainable livelihoods for themselves.
GYM 2015 envisions addressing the overarching theme of ‘Youth, Health and Development’ with special focus on youth perspectives on creating enabling environments for development (sustainable cities, green transport, waste management, environmental sustainability), tackling chronic health conditions including injuries, disabilities and mental health, upholding health rights and facilitating youth employment (life-skill building, worksite wellness, careers in public health). With the context of SGDs, GYM 2015 will also focus on youth engagement in health policy making and governance, fostering multi-sectoral partnerships and investing in youth capacity. Facilitating youth voices through innovative techniques like social media, crowd sourcing and resource mobilization will be integral aspects of GYM 2015.
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More Details at the official page HRIDAY SHAN GYM