Nigeria renews commitments to improve adolescent health towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC)

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Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said that to make progress on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), the country recognizes the need to keep adolescents at the center of all programmes, focusing on their health and development.

To ensure that “no adolescent or young person is left behind”, the ministry will continue to work with all partners and stakeholders to meet the needs of different categories of adolescents and young people who are at different levels of vulnerability,” said the Minister of Health. , Dr Osagie Ehanire during the commemoration of National/International Adolescent Health Week (IAHW) 2022 in Abuja.

According to the minister, “we therefore advocate and make every effort to strengthen the effective coordination of the adolescent health program nationwide” while urging all partners to replicate the same structure in their respective states to ensure the continued provision of essential gender-responsive services and to mitigate barriers faced by adolescents and young people in accessing services in the country.

The IAHW is a week-long participatory event commemorated globally and annually the third week of March, aimed at celebrating young people with the aim of working collectively to improve the health and well-being of adolescents. worldwide. The theme for this year 2022 is “Transitions: Building a Case for Adolescent Visibility in Nigeria while Transitioning from a Pre-Pandemic to a Pandemic-Shaped Life”.

To mark the previous turbulent week, a teenage lawyer, Isabella Anani, noted that teenagers are the leaders of today and tomorrow and should be treated as such. For her, it is an accomplishment to have an entire week devoted to adolescent health and well-being.

She however called on the government and stakeholders to provide support for adolescents, stressing that “adolescent health cannot be underestimated. We must be prepared – physically, mentally and psychologically. There should be a cohesive effort from parents, guardians, teachers and government to ensure that we successfully move to the next stage which comes with great responsibility, decision making and character building for a greater nation.

Adolescents constitute a significant proportion (22%) of the total population of Nigeria. Progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and UHC requires improving the health and well-being of adolescents through appropriate investments and effective coordination at all levels.

The National Demographics and Health Survey (NDHS 2018) shows that 19% of adolescent girls are mothers and pregnant with their first child, 32% do not attend antenatal care (ANC) and 66% give birth unsupervised by skilled birth attendants and an HIV prevalence of 1.9 million which shows a strong gender disparity among young people. This is compounded by the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on our already fragile healthcare system.

Reiterating WHO’s commitment to the well-being of adolescents in Nigeria, the Country Representative, Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulombo, emphasized that the needs of adolescents in the peri-covid era are unique and diverse.

“WHO will progressively strengthen its work in the area of ​​adolescent health, expanding its portfolio of research, norms and standards, country support and advocacy, and expanding the scope of work in line with WHO guidance. ‘Accelerated Action for Adolescent Health (AA-HA) to address the multifaceted needs of the global adolescent population,’ WR said.

He noted that the National PHC Summit to be held later in the week is also an opportunity to galvanize multisectoral action for adolescent health and wellbeing.

He urged stakeholders to redouble their commitments to ensure adolescent health remains high on the global agenda for a healthier future.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the World Health Organization (WHO) – Nigeria.

This press release was issued by APO. Content is not vetted by the African Business editorial team and none of the content has been checked or validated by our editorial teams, proofreaders or fact checkers. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

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