In a positive move towards adolescent health in Rajasthan, State Minister of Health Dr Raghu Sharma and Minister of Women and Child Development Mamta Bhupesh pledged to improve health and general well-being of adolescents, by signing a pledge expressing their intention. Representatives of the nationwide non-governmental organization (NGO), Population Foundation of India, the architects of the campaign were present when the two ministers signed the document.
“Adolescents and young people are our greatest asset and we are committed to investing in their health and holistic development for a just, inclusive and prosperous Rajasthan,” says the pledge, reaffirming the commitment of the government of Rajasthan to ensure that adolescents are healthy and empowered to be a positive change. -makers. It promises their inclusion in policy making and in the ideation of development programs so that they can be stakeholders in decisions that will impact their lives and overall well-being.
Divya Santhanam, Senior State Program Manager, Population Foundation of India adds: “As a local organization, we have found that when governments use their resources well and work in synergy with civil society organizations, change happens more. quickly and on a much larger scale. The renewed commitment of the honorable ministers of Health and Women’s and Children’s Development will play a very important role in ensuring that adolescent health is a priority in Rajasthan.
The state government of Rajasthan is leading campaigns not only to end child marriage, but also to meet the health and development needs of young people. Campaigns such as Nirogi Rajasthan, Zero Teenage Pregnancy (launched by the Minister of Health), the creation of model community health centers (CSC) in the 200 districts as well as the inclusion of adolescent friendly health centers (AFHC) in these CSC models are essential for improving adolescent well-being.
The commitment of the state government is particularly important as the youth and adolescent population of Rajasthan represents 32% of the total state population. However, for social, cultural and economic reasons, they face a multitude of challenges that prevent them from reaching their full potential. According to the National Family Health Survey (2015-16), over 35% of girls in Rajasthan are married before the age of 18. The 2018 State of Education Annual Report (ASER) survey found that 20% of girls drop out of school. for many reasons, including early marriage and childbearing.
“The signing of this pledge demonstrates the state government’s commitment to advancing the health of adolescents and youth with concrete actions and empowering policies so that they can become productive, healthy and healthy citizens. happy about the country. This is all the more relevant in the current pandemic as COVID-19 has highlighted the need to invest in our adolescents and young people for healthier and more resilient communities, ”adds Santhanam.