November 3, 2022

PMNCH decries neglect of 1.8bn youth population by govts in policy formulation, services, others 

PMNCH decries neglect of 1.8bn youth population by govts in policy formulation, services, others 

…why we’re embarking on ‘Global Forum for Adolescents 1.8bn Campaign – Atanga

By Gabriel Ewepu, Abuja

A nonprofit organization, PMNCH, Monday, decried neglect of 1.8 billion adolescents across the world by governments over the years in terms of policy formulation, services and investment despite the potential and prospects of they possess to positively change developmental narrative in their countries.

Speaking via webinar on the plight of the 1.8 billion adolescents cutting across nation’s, the Strategic Advocacy Committee Secretary, PMNCH, Desmond Nji Atanga, explained why PMNCH is embarking on the ‘Global Forum for Adolescents Launch Event, as part of the 1.8 billion Campaign billed for October 23 in New York, United States of America. The the Global Forum for Adolescents is organised by PMNCH.

According to PMNCH, there are 1.8 billion adolescents and youth living in the world today whose needs are not being met.

Meanwhile, Atanga explained why PMNCH is championing the campaign for adolescents wellbeing at this time, “To prioritise needs, health and Wellbeing policies in financing and also in service delivery.

“Recently, researchers caught interest on adolescents overwhelming looking at the economic advantage of investing in a single dollar spent on an adolescent today has ripple benefits in the future, and today we are talking about the triple evident of adolescents’ wellbeing, meaning when you invest in an adolescent in education, health and other services today it benefits the adolescent now, in the future and when he or she becomes adult people and running around him.

“This Forum is going to take stock of what has been done and the lessons, and three major outcomes; increasing financing; adolescent wellbeing; increasing service, and also better policies around that.

“So the 1.8 billion Campaign is from actually over 1.8 billion young people in the adolescent age group across the world, particularly, and so this is a huge population, and so this campaign is all what is going to the conference to the GFA which is for October 2023.

He also made it known that there are in-country activities ongoing, where, “There are young people leading campaigns and advocacy activities in-country to whip up support around this Forum,and it is going to culminate in the Forum itself in October 2023.

He maintained that adolescents for long have been treated as under-dogs in policy, service delivery, and also in financing service, and “this is the time for the world to stand up and treat this as a matter of urgency because there is research evidence that investing in adolescents is a cost benefit investment because it yields advantages not only for today’s adolescents but getting right into the future adolescents are also affecting positively those around and society in general.”

He pointed that, “There is growing support for introducing nutrition courses in primary and secondary schools as way of reducing non-communicable diseases and this is a very strong primary prevention method and lessons.

“Adolescents today their health and wellbeing in the future there are also schemes put in place some of them in very low skill. We are trying to ensure that they get the increased service delivery schemes aimed at improving lessons agency confidence through training, greater involvement in community actions because when adolescents get involved at early stage it paves the way to contribute in the whole large scale in the future to the benefit to all those around. So it’s actually preparing adolescents for today, tomorrow and posterity.

“That is why this conference is going to take place in New York next year. No conference has taken place conference so far and we know this conference is going to raise momentum actually put on the table policymakers a dying need to get something happening, more adolescents and their health and wellbeing.”

Speaking on short and long term solutions as policies and programmes to ameliorate plight of adolescents, he (Atanga) asked Governments on the short-term to recognize the entire straits “we are and how important and beneficial it is for adolescents should be prioritised in policies and cuts across all policies.”

He also said it is left for Governments to show commitment as they recognize adolescents; more money, services adolescents need for their sexual and reproductive health, resilience, contributing to climate change mitigation, improve their communication skills, employability, and added that Governments need to come up with comprehensive policy.

He also stressed on awareness in order to bring people on board.

He said Governments should approach issues affecting adolescents with multi-sectoral approach to be more effective.