Our new commentary in The Lancet

Responsibility for youth engagement is a two-way street

The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health, August 9, 2019

Our new commentary was published in The Lancet at the occasion of the 2019 International Youth Day, highlighting “It is time to reframe the narrative: only a two-way relationship between young people and established leaders can achieve health for all.” This is a continuation of the series of articles in The Lancet family of journals we are leading to draw attention to the urgent need to transform youth engagement for health and sustainable development.


Following our first commentary in The Lancet Global Health “Urgency for transformation: youth engagement in global health”, Barbara Bulc engaged and joined co-authors, some of the leading youth advocates and experts, bridging both generational and geographical boundaries. Through sharing our collective and unique expertise, we highlighted the critical importance of intergenerational collaborations, providing inspiring examples and opportunities how this can be achieved. The exceptional collective of co-authors include Arush Lal (Women in Global Health), Marlene Joannie Bewa (University of Southern Florida), Muhammed Yaeesh Cassim (Psychological Society of South Africa), Shakira Choonara (African Union Youth Advisory Council), Enes Efendioglu (Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health), Stefan Germann (Fondation Botnar), Hira Hafeez (U-Report, UNICEF), Katja Iversen (Women Deliver), Sania Nishtar (Government of Pakistan), Charlotte O’Leary (International Federation of Medical Students Associations), Petra Orlic (International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation), Johanna Ralston (World Obesity Federation), Rohit Ramchandani (Waterloo School of Public Health and Health Systems), and Sarah Walji (Nursing Now, International Council of Nurses).


There are more young people now than ever before, over half of the population on our planet. The commentary emphasizes “Young people are often touted as the future—future policymakers, future practitioners, and future leaders. But this narrative fails to acknowledge that young people are also the present.” It is therefore essential to create health systems for and by young people and the unique roles that leaders and young people have in making this a reality.

This series continues with the expected publication of our next commentary in The Lancet Planetary Health in Spring 2020. Join us with your contributions and actions!


Additional Resources:


Responsibility for youth engagement is a two-way street, The Lancet, August 9, 2019