"Lost & Found: Adolescent Health in the 21st Century" was the title of the Barcelona Global Health Summer School, now in its third year, which took place from 10 to 15 July 2016. The course is organised jointly by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) and the Associació d'Estudiants de Ciències de la Salut (AECS).
This year’s event, which took place at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Barcelona, brought together 50 students and young professionals from 22 countries working in fields related to health care, including medicine, nursing, pharmacy, medical engineering and other related disciplines.
The aim of the summer school is to introduce and explore a topic of particular importance to global health. The subject chosen this year was adolescent health. The sessions led by international experts introduced and explored the global panorama of the burden of disease and social determinants in the adolescent population as well as other more specific topics, such as gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive health, and the relationship between environmental factors and adolescent health.
As highlighted by the World Health Organisation (WHO), adolescents are often thought of as a healthy group, a belief that does not reflect the real situation. Far too many young people die prematurely in their teens as a result of suicide, injuries caused by domestic or traffic accidents, and complications related to sexual and reproductive health, among others. Moreover, many of these accidents and conditions are either preventable or treatable. In addition, many diseases that affect people in adulthood have their roots in adolescence, particularly those linked to lifestyle and habits (smoking, overweight, etc.).