A Non governmental Organization, Society for Adolescent and young people health in Nigeria (SAYPHIN) has advocates for increased investment in the health sector to restore crumbling services for Adolescent children in the Nigeria and the African continent.
The National President of SAYPHIN, Professor Adesegun Fatusi made the call at this years 1st African and 2nd Nigerian conference on adolescent health and development in Abuja.
He noted that there is need for government to invest in equity enhancing strategies to protect children.
Prof. Fatusi, said the conference is long overdue as Africa is the only region in the world that is yet to hold this type of conference on adolescent health, which he said is the future of the continent.
He explained that research shows Açcording to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 5,000 young people in the world die everyday as a result of Injuries from road accidents, violence, self harm, maternal conditions which are the leading causes of deaths among adolescents and young adults.
He said Nigeria’s investment in Africa has been the lowest in the world compared to other regions.
“Investment in young people’s health produces high yields leading to healthier young people and society, reduction in adult deaths because two third of preventable deaths in adults happen as a result of health risk behaviors initiated
during adolescence and also, it is an investment in the next generation.”
A Country Director of Pathfinder International, Dr. Amina Dorayin who one of the co-coverner called for increased investment in young people’s health in Nigeria and Africa to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and create an egalitarian society that works for all.
Dr. Dorayin also pointed out that child marriage violates children’s rights and places them at high risk of violence, exploitation, and abuse hence the need to take holistic approach by government at all levels to end the practice in the country.
In her remarks, Girls Advocate at SWAG initiative, Ene Naomi Okpe stressed the need for the media to step up awareness programmes to help amplify the prospect of investment in young people’s health in the country.
Speaking on the the theme of the conference “tagged “Fulfilling Promises: Optimizing investment in Adolescent in Africa, the Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire, represented by the Director Family health in the ministry, Dr. Salma Anas promised that the federal government will continue to priorities on the issues of adolescent girls to enable them have access to critical social services with a view to meet up with the achieving targets of the sustainable development goals SGDs.