About the Young Health Programme

The Young Health Programme is about...

Primary prevention:

a unique focus on young people and the prevention of the most common non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart and respiratory disease.

Targeting risk behaviours:

that can lead to these diseases in adulthood such as tobacco use, alcohol abuse and unhealthy eating. Scientific research has shown that these behaviours, once started, are hard to change and can have an impact on health later in life.

Putting adolescent health on the healthcare agenda:

working collaboratively with over 30 partner organisations worldwide, it is generating valuable research, raising awareness of adolescent health and improving healthcare services provided for young people.

Providing youth with a voice:

ensuring young people are at the core of everything the YHP does and have a powerful voice in identifying their health needs as well as planning and delivering the solutions.

Not about us, without us

Alyssa YHP Canada Youth Ambassador

Generating valuable research and evidence

If adolescent health and NCD prevention are to be prioritised and adolescent services improved, then a credible and relevant evidence base is essential.

Yet there remains a shortage of research and analysis on this diverse group which accounts for 25% of the world’s population. There is also a lack of up-to-date relevant data, especially for low and middle income countries, on the prevalence of NCD risk behaviours among young people.

That is why research and evidence generation is a key part of the Young Health Programme.

Advocates of positive change locally and globally

Adolescents remains an under-recognised part of the global healthcare agenda.

The YHP advocates for the prevention of non-communicable disease (NCD) risk behaviours on public policy agendas. Globally, the YHP participates in targeted public and political health platforms to champion the prioritisation of adolescent health and the inclusion of NCD prevention in global policies and programmes. Locally, it works with non-governmental organisation (NGO) partners to promote young people's participation in policy making and improve access to healthcare services for young people.

The YHP advocacy position is aligned to the post 2015 Sustainable Development Goal that was adopted at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), September 2015:

By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being.

Working collaboratively in on the ground programmes

The YHP combines on the ground programmes with research and advocacy. It is designed with the flexibility to works with local partners to identify NCD risk behaviours of young people in local communities and puts tailored programmes in place that will help improve their future health and life chances.

At the core of the Programme is strengthening disease prevention and health promotion amongst marginalised populations. This involves working with expert third parties on the ground to build local capabilities for long-term sustainability.

On the ground programmes focus on preventing the risk behaviours that may lead to NCDs, including Sexual Reproductive Health and emotional well-being which are intrinsically relevant to this age group.

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and marketing of prescription medicines for cancer, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, and infectious disease. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. The Young Health Programme is AstraZeneca’s global community investment initiative.