Sayphin, UNESCO, UNFPA demand safeguard of youth’s rights, well-being
Society for Adolescent and Young People’s Health in Nigeria (SAYPHIN) alongside UNFPA, UNESCO UNICEF, Lagos and Ogun States, have echoed the need to safeguard the rights and well-being of youths in Nigeria and Africa.
This was said in Lagos, yesterday, at the third Nigeria Conference on Adolescent and Youth Health and Development, EKO 2023, with the theme, “Achieving 2030 Targets: Driving Innovation for Adolescent and Youth Health.”
Stakeholders at the event called on concerned agencies to re-commit themselves to ensure that pragmatic, cost-effective and impactful interventions tailored toward the specific needs of the nation’s adolescents and youths are put in place.
President, SAYPHIN, Adesegun Fatusi, stated that adolescent health and development must be at the centre of global, national and local developmental efforts if SDGs are to be achieved by 2030, saying there was the need to evolve and engage innovative approaches with young people as the drivers.
He called for improvement in the area of education where youths are given the platform to amplify their voices and leverage on their creativity, adding that legal action should be strengthened to guarantee the safety of youths across the country.
“There is the need to improve access to healthcare, which includes comprehensive health education, counselling and access to adolescent-friendly services,” Fatusi said.
Officer in Charge, Nigeria, UNFPA, Chris Sabum Macauley, noted that there should be a focus to nurture the potential of the Nigerian youth through informed policies, strategic investments, and innovative approaches, adding that UNFPA is committed to advocating for the rights of young people, empowering them with knowledge and skills not only to protect themselves, but also to enable them make informed decisions so they can realise their full potential and contribute to the nation’s economic and social transformation.
He disclosed that the empowerment of today’s youth holds the transformative power to eradicate poverty, address disparities, end hunger, bridge inequalities and reverse climate change.
The wife of Lagos State Governor, Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, said that stakeholders need to collaborate to provide adequate support for the youth in health, socio-economic and financial growth, as they are significant in nation-building.
She noted that adolescents have the fundamental right to health, disclosing that a World Health Organisation (WHO) research stated that investments in adolescent’s health produce a triple dividend benefit for them, their future and generations to come.
Wife of the Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun, called on policymakers to engage the youth when creating agendas that concern them.
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