“We’ll Increase Financial Commitment To Improve Adolescents Well-being”- Pate

The Federal Government has promised to increase financial commitment, develop policies and programs that would improve the health and wellbeing of adolescents in the country.

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Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Muhammed Pate made the pledge on Thursday, October 5, 2023 at the Global Forum For Adolescents 2023 held In Abuja.

Pate who was represented by the Deputy Director, Department of Family Health, Dr. Amina Mohammed affirmed that the role of adolescents in society could not be overemphasized, therefore, the Forum was aimed at improving and addressing the challenges the young generation was going through.

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“On behalf of the Nigerian government, we commit to strive to increase our financial commitment and the policies to develop programmes and service delivery action that will improve adolescents’ well-being.

“The Federal government of Nigeria is totally committed to all efforts directed at adolescents and young people’s potentials in nation building for them to become healthy at adolescent now, healthy adults at the future and flourishing the healthy generation in the future”, he said.

The Minister added that, adolescents group constitute 22% of the Nigerian’s population, “therefore to secure and sustain our future economic, social and political progress and stability, we need to make a strong commitment to close the gaps in the development of our young who are the future.”

Meanwhile, the Coordinator, Africa Health Budget Network, (AHBN), Dr. Aminu Magashi averred that it was necessary to empower young people in decision-making and advocacy in the country.

Represented by the AHBN’s Information & Youth Engagement Officer, Halima Bello, Dr. Magashi disclosed that AHBN was currently hosting a Meaningful Adolescent and Youth Engagement Working Group that had over 200 young persons whose capacities were being built, mentored, and strategically placed in spaces where they are heard and able to speak in decision making gatherings.

He said, “the AHBN’s approach is centered around collaboration and inclusivity, aiming to support the implementation process of existing policies and the creation of new ones.

“Through this initiative, AHBN seeks to empower young people to actively participate in decision-making processes and advocate for their rights.

“Furthermore, AHBN is fully committed to the finalisation and validation of the RMCAEH+N (Reproductive, Maternal, Child, Adolescent, Elderly, and Newborn Health) strategy.

According to him, this strategy focuses on comprehensive healthcare for all age groups, with a specific emphasis on the needs and well-being of adolescents and young people.

On her part, Executive Director of Gem Hub Initiative, Mrs Oyeyemi Pitan reiterated the importance of investing in the health and well-being of adolescents and called for collaboration among stakeholders in order to achieve this feat.

Pitan noted that, adolescence was a time when vulnerabilities could emerge if there was a failure to provide the requisite support, education, and healthcare adolescents need.

“We must empower our adolescents with knowledge, protect their rights, and create a safe environment where they can thrive and grow.

“We must listen to their voices, respect their diversity, and acknowledge their invaluable contributions to our society”, she said.

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