The International Association for Adolescent Health (IAAH) Conference – Istanbul, Turkey 2013
The Centre for Adolescent Health was well represented at the recent 10th World Congress of the International Association for Adolescent Health in Istanbul, Turkey. Held every 4 years, the international conference showcases the best of adolescent health research, practice and training initiatives across the globe. As Dr Rony Duncan, research fellow from the MCRI Centre for Adolescent Health said, “I always knew the Centre was doing great things, but until attending the meeting, I don’t think I’d quite appreciated how much we are right at the cutting edge of adolescent health”.
Held amid mounting local protests and demonstrations, the conference was a stark reminder of how political and social environments can shape young people’s health and well-being, and how young people can be agents of change within their own communities. Crowds of young people protested daily just 10 minutes from the conference venue to take a stand against the style of leadership that they are currently experiencing in Turkey. Peaceful in intent, they were met with tear gas and pepper spray (as were some of our delegates!), which only fuelled larger, more intense protests. Many of the Turkish youth delegates at the conference left the conference venue each night to join their fellow university students and professors in Taksim Square.
A recent editorial in the Lancet powerfully highlighted the importance of engaging young people within their communities: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(13)61424-5/fulltext?rss=yes
This year, the conference theme was ‘bridging clinical and public health perspectives’. Presentations by CAH staff spanned the breadth of research undertaken at the Centre for Adolescent Health. This included:
Peter Azzopardi: Advancing Indigenous youth research
Kristina Bennett: Development of the adolescent-friendly hospital survey
Sarah Drew: Meeting the psychosocial and supportive care needs of adolescents and young adults with cancer
Rony Duncan: Why are parents concerned about confidentiality for adolescents?
Meagan Hunt: Youth participation within the Chronic Illness Peer Support program: resolving tensions between model and experience
George Patton: Session on the recent Lancet series on Adolescent Health – The world’s adolescents: opportunities for development and health + Plenary presentation on Adolescent Health
Susan Sawyer: Session on the recent Lancet series on Adolescent Health – Adolescence: a foundation for future health + symposium leader on measuring quality healthcare for adolescents
Michele Yeo: Recognizing and managing physical complications of eating disorders in adolescents: challenges and strategies
Joanne Williams: Recruitment challenges: a randomised trial of a community based obesity intervention for adolescents
Pictured here are:
(a) Professor George Patton giving his plenary address.
(b) Four of the Centre’s delegates: Anne-Emmanuelle Ambresin, Meagan Hunt, Kristina Bennett and Rony Duncan.