Much of the population health research that has been carried out in the Arab World has focused on perinatal, childhood, or adult conditions. Fortunately, we have seen much improvement in the health status of newborns and children with advancing healthcare and public health measures. Adolescents, however, have not received sufficient attention when it comes to health care or research; with the reason being that they have not been identified as being a population with specific health needs that are different than children and adults, as well as the misconception that this segment of the population is generally healthy. In order to maintain the success seen with child health and prevent the onset of certain behaviors that persist into adulthood and result in non-communicable disease and injury, it is imperative that scientists now work with communities and governments to address the needs of adolescents and act on these needs in order to promote their wellbeing and lifelong health. With this in mind, the Adolescent Health Research Program (AHRP) was established in May 2013 within the Population Health Research Section of the King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC).
AHRP is the first of its kind in the Arab region, a part of the world that has very unique demographics and is experiencing the ‘youth bulge’. The AHRP is unique in the sense that we address adolescent health in a holistic manner and so the biological, social, and mental health aspects of health are addressed and translated into practice and policy. We are confident that with such a program, adolescents and youth in the region will all benefit.
“At the Adolescent Health Research Program, we look forward to advancing the global scientific agenda on adolescent health and making a positive difference in adolescents’ lives”