Global Adolescent Health Group

Head: Dr Elissa Kennedy


Rapid reductions in child mortality globally have resulted in the largest population of adolescents in history – a ‘youth bulge’ of 1.8 billion. In countries like Papua New Guinea and Myanmar, 10-24-year-olds now account for almost a third of the population.

This generation of young people provides unprecedented opportunities to advance global health and sustainable development.

Young people experience a considerable burden of preventable poor health, including poor sexual and reproductive health, mental health disorders, harmful use of alcohol and other drugs, and injuries.

Adolescence is also when many risk factors for poor health later in life emerge, presenting a critical window to reduce non-communicable disease in adulthood.

Adolescents are also the next generation to become parents – indeed almost 1 in 5 girls have already commenced childbearing by the age of 18 years. Adolescent mothers experience higher rates of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality, with significant consequences for the health of the next generation.

The Global Adolescent Health group addresses these important health needs through three major areas of work:

We work at global, regional and country level to develop better indicators for adolescent health, and use existing data to more comprehensively describe health outcomes, risks and determinants to guide more effective investment.

We also conduct research to improve in-depth understanding adolescents’ health needs and the factors that contribute to poor health outcomes to inform more responsive policy and programming.

We also work to develop and evaluate new interventions to address key health needs, and conduct implementation research to understand how interventions can be more effectively delivered in challenging settings.


Dr Peter Azzopardi and Dr Elissa Kennedy both contributed to the landmark report Our future: a Lancet commission on adolescent health and wellbeing released in 2016.


  • A profile of adolescent health in Myanmar

  • Engaging private sector for adolescent health service delivery in Asia and Pacific

  • Gender Counts

  • Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies

  • Implementing Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Services in East Asia and the Pacific Region

  • Inequalities in sexual and reproductive health in Asia and the Pacific

  • Integrated Multi-Sectoral Approach (IMSA) To Improve The Sexual And Reproductive Health Of Adolescents In Magway, Myanmar

  • Integrating Mental Health and Psychosocial Support into primary health care for Children and Adolescents in Middle East and North Africa

  • Non-communicable diseases in adolescents in Indonesia

  • Quantifying early marriage and union in Southeast Asia

  • Resilient Adolescents and Integrated Life Skills (RAIL) project, Dawei, Myanmar

  • Review of the health and wellbeing of adolescents and young people in the Middle East and North Africa

  • Sexual and reproductive health in Asia and the Pacific

  • The Adolescent Menstrual Experiences and Health Cohort (AMEHC) Study in Bangladesh

  • Understanding Pathways to Adolescent Pregnancy in Southeast Asia

Staff Members

  • Alexander  Thomas

    Alexander Thomas
    Health Economic Modeller

  • Alexandra (Ali)  Head

    Alexandra (Ali) Head
    Research Assistant

  • Doctor Aye Aye Myint

    Doctor Aye Aye Myint
    Senior Program Manager

  • Doctor Elissa Kennedy

    Doctor Elissa Kennedy
    Co-Program Director, Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health; Co-Head Global Adolescent Health

  • Doctor Julie Hennegan

    Doctor Julie Hennegan
    Research Fellow

  • Karly Cini

    Karly Cini
    Research Officer

  • Marie Habito

    Marie Habito
    Senior Research Officer

  • Miika Coppard

    Miika Coppard
    Research Assistant

  • Doctor Minh Duc Pham

    Doctor Minh Duc Pham
    Senior Research Fellow

  • Nisaa  Wulan

    Nisaa Wulan
    Health Modeller

  • Doctor Phone Myint Win

    Doctor Phone Myint Win
    Country Representative, Myanmar