Guide for Establishing Youth Friendly Spaces

No. of pages: 31

Publication date: 2010

Author: UNFPA

Youths under 25 years make up almost 50 percent of the population in Guyana. According to the 2002 Population and Housing Census, adolescents aged 10–14 years accounted for 10.8 percent while the 15– 19 year-olds accounted for 8.9 percent of the population. According to the PAHO Country Cooperation Strategy 2010 - 2015, the main health problems faced by youth in Guyana include the lack of user friendly services, inadequate access to dental and physical exams, unsafe sexual and other lifestyle behaviours leading to STIs, such as HIV/AIDS, and teenage pregnancy. Alcohol and other forms of substance abuse are considered to be serious problems. A national survey among school children showed that 11.6 percent had used marijuana or other drugs at least once and one in three students had consumed alcohol at least once while 50 percent had their first drink before 13 years of age (Global School Health Survey, Guyana report 2004). In addition, the five leading causes of death among adolescents were: suicide (17.8%), followed by land transport accidents (14%), homicide (7.8%), HIV and AIDS (6.2%), and events of undetermined intent (6.2%) (Guyana Bureau of Statistics). In order to make health services friendlier, the Ministry of Health recently developed a strategic plan in 2007 to address the health needs of young people.