By Arinola Kolade
The Federal Government has put in place strategies to improve the health of adolescents and young people in Nigeria.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, disclosed this in Abuja, during a five-day stakeholders’ meeting on Health and Development of Adolescents and Young People in Nigeria, organised by the Ministry of Health in partnership with World Health Organisation, WHO.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Mr. Abdulaziz Abdullahi, Adewole said the meeting was a reflection of the ministry’s commitment to ensure significant improvement of health and wellbeing of adolescents and young people in the country.
He said adolescence is a period of transition between childhood and adulthood, aged 10-24. A rapid growth in the country’s population results to about 47 million adolescents and young people in Nigeria.
Evidence has indicated that adolescents and young people in the country face challenges such as mental health problems resulting from drugs and substances abuse, sexual and reproductive health problems as well as endemic and chronic diseases.
As part of the strategies, the apex health ministry recently, banned production and distribution of codeine-containing drugs and other substances that cause harm to adolescents and young people.
Adewole noted that the National Strategic Health Development Plan II, approved during the National Council on Health in Kano, would provide the required support.
Further, he disclosed that, the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, had great impact on adolescents and young people, adding that the Saving One Million Lives Programme, the health intervention funds to states, was beneficial to adolescents and young people.
“I beseech the group of experts here to come up with innovative ideas and feasible interventions that would enhance adolescents and youth-friendly health services and programmes across the country particularly as we work together towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs,” the minister said.
According to the World Health Organization Country Representative, Dr. Wondi Alemu: “Adolescent health is a flagship Programme for the WHO that is available to provide every necessary assistance to ensure that our adolescents are healthy.”