SAYPHIN calls for youth-friendly policies
Society for Adolescent and Young People’s Health in Nigeria (SAYPHIN) has called on the government to create policies that would harness the potential of youths and provide greater opportunities for them.
SAYPHIN hosted an event to commemorate the International Youths Day (IYD) celebration at the weekend in Lagos and to unveil the Eko 2023 Conference Logo, themed ‘Driving Innovation for Adolescent and Youth Health’ scheduled for August 2023.
Speaking at the evet, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Medical Science, Ondo state and National President, SAYPHIN, Professor Adesegun Fatusi said the day signifies what society needs to do to improve the lives of young people.
He added that the event aims at prompting young people to fulfill their potential and equip them with the necessary skills while creating an environment to enable them to become their best version.
Fatusi urged the youths and older generation to collaborate to enhance societal development.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Olusegun Ogboye, said that young people face challenges that can compromise their health and development potentials if not properly addressed.
According to him, one of the most important commitments a country can make for its economic, social and political progress is to address their health and development needs, noting that some factors that impact development of adolescents include social media, urbanisation, unhealthy diets, armed conflicts, climate change and migration.
“Past experiences revealed that young people would rather patronise quacks instead of the hospitals as quacks are perceived as ‘confidential though not safe’, while the hospitals are ‘safe but not confidential’. It became important to create safe and confidential spaces for these young people, hence the establishment of Hello Lagos Youth Friendly Centres, designed to provide quality safe confidential youth friendly health services,” his statement added.
Chairman, Lagos State primary healthcare board, Akinsanya Osibogun stated that policies that recognise the changing times and provide opportunities for youths to be mentored and grow should be enacted.
He called on the youths to take advantage of existing opportunities and not discountenance adults who have experience and wisdom.
Executive Director of Action Health Incorporated Adenike Esiet said the commemoration is an attempt to draw attention to issues that affect youths development and opportunities to prosper. Specifically, this year’s theme is around ‘intergenerational solidarity: creating a world for all ages’ presents a great opportunity for actors in this field and young people to recognise the importance of building solidarity, understanding and willingness to help one another for the good of all.
“Young people have the advantage of fresh and creative ideas, energy, and ability to work for success, and its important that adults acknowledge this. In the very same way the young people need to recognise the resources that older people bring to the table,” Esiet said.
She called on the government to focus on education, not limited to an institution but ensuring everyone has an enabling environment to learn.