Madoka Ikeshita writes:

Although teenagers and young adults are generally healthy, they are among the most vulnerable in terms of the diseases related to social conditions in their respective communities -- poverty, exploitation, ignorance and risky behaviour. There are two big problems related to adolescents' health. One is that education for the young is inadequate. Education for adolescents is very important because behaviour patterns established during this period of development as well as ignorance about certain health risks can lead to many problems. For example, many adolescents in developing countries can't get safe jobs because of a lack of education and they can't protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) because of their ignorance about these dangers.

In addition to a lack of eduation, STDs are another problem. These diseases are most frequent in younger, sexually active people, and appear to be increasing worldwide. It is said thad the highest rates for notifiable STDs are generally seen in the 20-24 age group, followed by those aged 15-19 and 25-29. HIV/AIDS is also included in STDs and is most serious. In many countries in the developing world, up to two-thirds of all new HIV infections are among people aged 15-24.

The Japanese medical community can work in a variety ways on these problems. To solve the problem of education, members of the community can give adolescents or school teachers training inhow the bodyworks, as well as general medical information, for instance, explaining the mechanisms of pregnancy or how dangerous STDs, tobacco or misuses of alclhol and other drugs are. With the basic knowledge of their own bodies, some other problems can be prevented. For example, most unwanted pregnancies and STDs can be avoided if people know how to use condoms. They will use condoms if they know how dangerous STDs are.

But this is not enough. Some people, for example, street children, may not be able to buy condoms because of their poverty. And they are at high risk of malnutrition, infectious diseases, STDs including HIV/AIDS, and criminal and sexual exploitation. Additionally, people who already have HIV can't get well by using condoms. So, the Japanese medical community must help them more. Help in cures are also needed. Condoms, drugs and clinical care have to be provided free for poor people.

What can various members of the medical community do to organize the groups to help them? What can students do? Nurses? Drug manufactuers? To organize a group, the problems must be known widely first. Next, co-operators in an organization and members of a group are necessary. Co-operators may become the sponsors, and especially, if they are the drug manufactuers, they may provide drugs or condoms. The members of a group can be not only doctors, but nurses, pharmacists, and students. Nurses are especially important. They may teach many things and help girls who are under pressure to engage in sexual relationships too early. Students may not be able to do anything in a medical sense. But they are also adolescents. So, they may become a good friends and can study and help others, working together.

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