USAID, Lagos, others advocate improved healthcare for out-of-school adolescents in slums
The USAID Youth-Powered Ecosystem to Advance Urban Adolescent Health (YPE4AH) and Lagos State Government have emphasised the need to improve the health and wellbeing of out-of-school adolescents in urban slums.
Speaking during the launch of USAID YPE4AH TEENSMATA campaign launch tagged: ‘Shine Well Well,’ held in Lagos, Chief of Party, USAID YPE4AH, Boladale Akin-Kolapo, emphasised the need to improve the skills of the youths for healthy living and future planning.
Akin-Kolapo who was represented by Daini Babajide added that fostering an enabling social and policy environment for adolescent health and development is paramount in achieving a healthy community.
USAID YPE4AH is a five-year (May 2020 –May 2025) programme funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
DAI are implementing the programme in Lagos and Kano in partnership with Nigerian Government, Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative (YEDI), Women Friendly Initiative (WFI), Yellow Brick Road (YBR), and Grassroot Soccer (GRS).
Akin-Kolapo hinted that The USAID YPE4AH project would identify the drivers of behaviours directly tied to health and leverage SBC, among other approaches, and work in partnership with the Nigerian government to achieve increasing youth workforce readiness, job opportunities, and entrepreneurship, to address socioeconomic determinants of adolescent health.
Also, the Director Strategy of Yellow Brick Road, Carol Ofem said: “At an individual level, the Social and Behaviour Communication (SBC) campaign will address the lack of in-depth SRH/FP knowledge among poor, urban adolescents and debunk the common myths that may be preventing them from seeking SRH/FP services.
“At an interpersonal level, the campaign aim to cause shifts in mindsets or perceptions and provide adolescents and parents/caregivers with the tools and language to have open and honest conversations about sex and sexual health.
“At the community level, the campaign will work to ensure the healthcare providers within the ecosystem are trained to provide youth-friendly counseling and services. The SBC campaign aims to also achieve a change in attitude of influencers (parents, caregivers, community leaders, religious leaders and trade masters).”
She added that the SBC Campaign would provide adolescents with accurate Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) information and foster an environment of open dialogue, where they can seek information and services without fear.
“Adolescents will be empowered to make informed decisions about their health and be better able to protect themselves. SBC campaigns will also target parents and caregivers to ensure they are empowered and given the required knowledge to provide accurate and adequate information on SRH, Gender Based-Violence and substance abuse to their children to help/support them adopt positive behaviour conducive for healthy living.”