A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Women Friendly Initiative (WFI), has called for the implementation of the national guidelines on promoting access of young people to adolescent and youth-friendly health services.
It also advocated the implementation of the integration of adolescent and youth-friendly services into primary health care facilities in the country.
The Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with WFI had launched the two documents that seek to integrate adolescent and youth-friendly services into the primary health facilities as well as promote their access to the services at the primary health care level.
WFI in collaboration with the Novel Association for Youth Advocacy, NAYA, carried out advocacy visits to Kwara, Benue, Nasarawa States and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Speaking during the visits to the affected states, Chief Executive Officer of the NGO, Dr. Francis Eremutha, noted that access to health services play significant role in young people’s health, hence, the need for the states to be more committed to the implementation of the national guidelines to improve the health of the young people.
He noted that with about 80 percent of the health facilities in Nigeria being primary health care facilities, and catering for the health needs of about 70 percent of the Nigerian population, integrating the adolescent and youth-friendly health services into the primary health care level has the potential for increasing its accessibility.
“The young people in Nigeria demonstrate poor health seeking behaviour due to a number of factors, including personal considerations, as well as health services and community-based barriers.
“As a result, there is the need to give critical attention to promoting access and utilisation of Adolescent and Youth-Friendly Health Services in primary health care settings.
“So, our advocacy visits to Kwara, Benue and Nasarawa states, including the FCT is to among other things, remind the affected states of the existence of the national guidelines and need for them to do the needful in the interest of the health of our young people.
“We are working with, and have also trained members of the Novel Association for Youth Advocacy in the affected states because of the strategic position they occupy as far as health issues affecting the young people are concerned,” he said.