By Daniel Tyokua
Novel Association for Youth Advocacy (NAYA), has called for a special budgetary allocations for adolescents in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT ).
The National Coordinator of Novel Association for Youth Advocacy, Rosemary Adaji, said the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) should establish and ensure evidence- based practices that ensure adolescent and youth friendly health services are integrated into existing routine services in primary health care facilities.
Mrs Adaji stated this in Kuje, Abuja during a parley with some Journalists on the need to promote awareness and utilisation among young people of available adolescent youth friendly health services in PHCs.
She explained that a separate budget would provide enough resources for aggressive sensitization campaigns in the society especially in the rural areas, than the adolescent health issues being neglected.
On his part, the Programme Director, Women Friendly Initiative, Sabastine Ikejide, said the adolescents constitute 22 per cent of Nigeria’s population but its health needs are neglected.
He said the health of adolescents is a missing middle and therefore called on policymakers to pay close attention to adolescent health for a better society.
Ikejide said, “The issues affecting adolescents in the country is begging for attention and must be brought to the fore. The adolescents are what we referred to as the missing middle. We have packages for infants and adults but the adolescents have been left behind. These are people between the ages of 10 and 24. They constitute 22 per cent of our population.
“They are not properly represented. The adolescents need to have a separate budget line in the federal ministry of health in all the sub-nationals and local government areas. They only have adolescent desk officers. This is not enough.
“The adolescents have about 21 basic health-related needs they should benefit from but they are not. Until we have separate budgets it would be difficult for the health of adolescents to be prioritised in the country” he said.