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School feeding programme evidence of FG’s commitment to youth’s health —Minister

Health Minister, Professor Isaac Adewole, has assured that the Federal Government’s school feeding programme is an attestation to its commitment to ensuring good health of youths in Nigeria.

While declaring open the first National Conference on Adolescent Health and Development in Ibadan, Professor Adewole said the Federal Government is making frantic efforts towards promoting adolescent health across all sectors of national life. The event was organised by the Society for Adolescent and Young People’s Health in Nigeria (SAYPHIN).

Represented by the Chief Medical Director, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex, Ile Ife, Professor Victor Adetiloye, Adewole said to ensure their wellness, provision is also made for adolescent health in the nation’s reproductive health policy and the national health policy.

The minister said the government will continue to pursue with vigour challenges of adolescent and youths, including girl-child education.

He advocate a friendly environment in hospitals for their health needs.

He, therefore, urged the society to collaborate with other stakeholders to help support the government attain the sustainable development goals, especially those pertaining to adolescent health and wellness.

Dr Olusola Odujinrin, the keynote speaker, listed health challenges of youths to include mental health, substance abuse, sexual and reproductive health and nutritional problems, adding that current public health facilities in the country lack the quality to tackle them appropriately.

Dr Odujinrin stated that the unmet needs for contraception for female youths was linked to Nigeria’s age restrictive policies, social pressure and limit knowledge about available options.

The resulting high contraceptive failure and its discontinuation after a short period, she said, must be addressed to improve maternal and child health, increase educational attainment and improve economic opportunities for young people.

In ensuring that Nigeria could harness its demographic dividends, the public health physician said family planning programmes, information and services must be made voluntary.

The event’s chairman, Professor Oladapo Ladipo, stated that SAYPHIN will continue its drive to ensure government responds to the needs of adolescents.

Professor Ladipo declared that adolescents have peculiar needs and are entitled to qualitative healthcare. and  urged them to have only the number of children they can maintain.

“If we continue, the population of Nigeria will be more than that of the USA, we will be the 3rd largest population in the world,” he added.

Meanwhile, United Nations FPA representative in Nigeria, Dr Eugene Kongnyuy urged youths to take driver seats in issues that affect them for a better future.

Earlier, SAYPHIN’s president, Professor Adesegun Fatunsi, said the conference was to help shape the future of adolescent health and development in Nigeria.

Dr Eugene Kongnyuy urged youths to take driver seats in issues that affect them for a better future.

Earlier, SAYPHIN’s President, Professor Adesugn Fatunsi said the conference was to help shape the future of adolescent health and development in Nigeria.

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