A network of civil society organizations called for separate budget allocations for the country’s adolescents.
They said adolescent health care in many states in the federation has been neglected, urging state governments to create a specific budget line for adolescent friendly health services.
Speaking in Abuja on Friday, program director, Women Friendly Initiative, Sabastine Ikejide, said adolescents constitute 22% of the Nigerian population but their health needs are overlooked.
He said adolescent health is a missing link and therefore called on policy makers to pay special attention to adolescent health for a better society.
He said: “The issues affecting adolescents in the country demand attention and must be brought to the fore. Adolescents are what we call the missing link. We have packages for infants and adults, but teens have been left behind. These are people between the ages of 10 and 24. They constitute 22%. 100 of our population.
“They are not correctly represented. Adolescents should have a separate budget line within the Federal Ministry of Health in all sub-nations and local communities. They only have teenage office workers. It’s not enough.
“Adolescents have about 21 basic health needs that they should have, but they are not. Until we have separate budgets, it would be difficult to prioritize adolescent health in the country. ”
The National Coordinator of the Novel Association for Youth Advocacy, Ms.Rosemary Adaji, said the Federal Capital Territory government should establish and ensure evidence-based practices that ensure that adolescent and youth-friendly health services are integrated into existing routine services in primary health care settings.
She urged the FCT administration to promote awareness and use among young people of adolescent-friendly health services available at primary health centers.