Analysis of Arctic Children and Youth Health Indicators
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In 1998, the Sustainable Development Working Group, a working group of the Arctic Council, established the Future of Children and Youth of the Arctic Initiative to improve the health and well-being of children and youth in the Arctic and to increase awareness and understanding of sustainable development. The initiative consists of two components: the Health Programme, which promotes the health and well-being of children and youth in the circumpolar Arctic; and the Networking Programme, which engages youth on issues of sustainable development, culture and community. The Health Programme’s first objective was to examine and identify gaps in the existing data and studies related to the health of children and youth in the Arctic. Accordingly, the Helath Programme’s first project “Analysis of Arctic Children and Youth Health Indicators,” was designed to provide the Arctic Council with a snapshot of the health of children and youth in the Arctic. The Health Expert Group, which was convened in March 1999 to oversee the Health Programme, agreed to focus the analysis on 16 key health indicators. These health measures were divided into two broad categories: biophysical, which includes demography, maternal behaviour, preventive health services and health outcomes; and psychosocial, which includes education, behaviour of children and youth, and health outcomes. Data for these indicators were thought to be available, internationally comparable and suitable for identifying possible key disparities across nations, Arctic regions and Indigenous groups.
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