Author : Monika Arora

Occasional PapersPublished on Dec 11, 2019 PDF Download
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A landscape analysis of adolescent health in India: The case of Uttar Pradesh

  • Monika Arora

    The health of adolescents is crucial to achieving India’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the Government of India has spotlighted adolescent health in various programmes and policies. However, substantial health challenges continue to affect Indian youth. This paper describes the health profile of adolescents in India and, in particular in Uttar Pradesh, one of the country’s least performing states in the domain of health outcomes. The paper highlights that despite progress in India’s health indicators, there is ample of scope for improvement in certain areas, especially accessibility. Policies and programmes must adopt a converged framework to address adolescent health challenges in totality, and not in silos, for India to successfully achieve its SDGs by 2030.


Monika Arora, “A Landscape Analysis of Adolescent Health in India: The Case of Uttar Pradesh”, ORF Occasional Paper No. 227, December 2019, Observer Research Foundation.

Adolescents are young individuals, aged 10–19 years, in their most rapid and formative phase of human development. Adolescence is a complex, transitional stage with distinctive physical, cognitive, social, emotional and sexual development, which requires special attention from all stakeholders.1 During this phase, the young search for their identity and develop skills that will help them become responsible adults. To utilise their full potential and become responsible and productive members of society, adolescents need the support of adults. Thus, they require special focus within national development programmes, policies and plans. One’s health during adolescence determines their future health, as risky behaviour in youth can have long-term consequences. The global interest in adolescent health grew after the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Egypt in 1994. The ICPD recommended adopting a human rights approach to recognise that sexual and reproductive health services and programmes must be set up for the development of adolescents worldwide.2

In 2006, India identified Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health (ARSH) as a key strategy under the Reproductive Child Health (RCH II) programme, followed by the “Reproductive Maternal Newborn Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH + A) Strategy” in 2013. The Government of India (GoI) has renewed its focus on adolescents, since the investment yields triple benefits: for the adolescents, in their future adult life, and for the next generation of children.3 Adolescent health is crucial for shaping both the future of the world’s health and the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to health, nutrition, education, gender equality and food security.4 This paper presents a situational analysis of the progress in adolescent health in India and in Uttar Pradesh (UP), with the following objectives:

  • To understand the health status of adolescents and related determinants at the national and subnational level, with a specific focus on UP.
  • To conduct a landscape analysis to understand the state of adolescent health in UP.
  • To sensitise stakeholders to the importance of strengthening Adolescent Health Services in improving healthcare access and promoting the health of adolescents in UP.
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Monika Arora

Monika Arora

Dr. Monika Arora is a public health scientist working in the area of Non-Communicable Disease Prevention and Control. She is the Director of the Health ...

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Monika Arora

Monika Arora