FOFA takes plan on young people’s health to Abia
FOFA is a non-governmental organisation and with the four-year plan that covers 2016-2019.FOFA Executive Director, Dame Chibuzo Oriuwa, said the plan was initiated, developed and effected by the state Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in collaboration with FOFA and support from the Ford Foundation of the United States (U.S.) under the guidance and contributions of an inter-agency Technical Working Group (TWG) on Young People’s Health and Development in the state, which consisted of representatives of civil society groups and other relevant stakeholders.
The mission of the action plan, which was borne out of an initial baseline inquiry into the welfare of young people in the state, is to set into motion a strong strategic partnership among government and civil society that can improve the welfare of young people in the state with their effective involvement while the Vision is to put in place a State with healthy, educated and prosperous young people.
Similarly, AIYHD strategic objective and goal is “to facilitate Abia with healthy, educated and prosperous young people driven by the collective vision of all policies, plans and directives enunciated by Nigeria and the state as well as international bodies represented by treaties, conventions and agreements for the development of young people.”
The justification is said to be hinged on “if the population of young people in the state, which is estimated to be 30 per cent of the total population in 2015 and 36 per cent of total population of the state in 2018, is vastly educated with accompanying mental, physical and psychological health status, they will be better placed to deliver a prosperous Abia state hence a well-educated, healthy and prosperous young people of the state will certainly be a good foundation for the overall development of the state and Nigeria”.
While unveiling the sixty three paged action plan document on behalf of governor Ikpeazu, his Special Adviser on Health, Dr. Ikechukwu Nwabeke, commended its production corroborating that it is a multi-stakeholders partnership that went through series of consultation and decisions and adjudged a good foundation document for the state young people development.
Before the unveiling, three state Commissioners namely: Health, Dr. John Ahukanna; Youth Development, Barrister Hagler Okorie; and Women Affairs/Social Development, Lady Chinedu Brown spoke on the subject matter.
Ahukanna, who noted that AIYHD recognized government as driving force for making greater impact, posited that the commitment of the relevant MDAs is needed to work-the-talk in realizing its goal and objectives.
Okorie who pointed out that youths being the greatest assets of the nation, should while on their journey to the future, need to be properly guided to enable them pursue their destinies in life with positive attitude, poise and confidence.
In the keynote address presented by Commissioner Brown of Women Affairs, she stated that it is no exaggeration that young people are most affected by the prevailing societal challenges which she listed as bothering on lack of proper health care, standard of education, poor infrastructure and social amenities, problems of inequality, unemployment and poverty among others.
Citing education as the key to improved livelihood, health care, nutrition and exercise of civic right, he asserted “education that includes and engages young people in discussions about sexuality, reproductive health, relationships and gender issues, can promote healthier behavior, foster a demand for services and promote gender equity.”
According to her, investing in young people’s health will prevent the estimated 1.4 million deaths that occur globally every year within this population group due to traffic injuries, violence and pregnancy-related causes.
To the FOFA Executive Director, Dame Oriuwa, the need for young people -specified- programmes is not only imperative but also indispensable for the socio-economic development of Nigeria especially at this critical period of the nation’s political and democratic evolution.
“We must begin to harness Nigeria’s wealth of human resources of which the young people constitute over one third in order to favorably compete with other developing countries. We recognize that effective response to support young people’s health and development requires the involvement of a range of actors and sectors hence this integrated action plan was developed with the involvement, input and commitment of all relevant public and private stakeholders with concern for young people and who should be working for their wellbeing and welfare.”
In attendance during the AIYHD presentation at Kolping Society of Nigeria Auditorium Umuahia were students, officials from the state Directorate of Employment NDE, National Security and Civil Defence Corps, Ministry of Education, National Orientation Agency (NOA) among others who individually read out goodwill messages commending the AIYHD but urging for its implementation.