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Marking World Health Day: poverty reduction work good for teenagers’ health

Programmes to reduce poverty and vulnerability can significantly reduce the risks to health and wellbeing faced by teenagers in deprived parts of South Africa, according to research from Oxford, UCL and the University of the Witwatersrand.

We’re marking World Health Day 2018 by revisiting research which can tell us about how we live and how that affects our health. All day, we’ll be tweeting about research which uses data available from the UK Data Service collection.

This study of teenagers in South Africa, published in 2016, made use of a longitudinal study of adolescents in four low-income districts with a high prevalence of HIV. It found that ‘cash plus care’ (economic help and mental health support) led to significant risk reductions, and progress towards the United Nations’ sustainable development goals, including reducing hunger and improving access to education.

The authors said the findings “highlight the value of providing ‘care’ as well as ‘cash’, suggesting the importance of resource allocation to psychosocial care in a time of global cuts”.

The World Health Organisation is marking its 70th anniversary, and using World Health Day 2018 to highlight the fact that half the world’s population don’t get the essential health services they need. Find out more on their website

There is more information about research using data we hold on our impact pages.