UNICEF to provide health care for detained teens

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The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), under its adolescent and youth development programme, plans to provide quality health care for teens in detention and those in alternative care in Guyana.

UNICEF said the health care will be administered at an adolescent level.

UNICEF, in a statement by Country Representative Sylvie Fouet, said the initiative is part of its priorities for 2019. There are also plans to expand the health clubs initiative in secondary schools, especially in rural and urban communities.

Being an adolescent is the time where a child rapidly experiences physical and emotional growth. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), this is any person between the ages of 10 and 19.

During this transitional period from childhood to adulthood, if the individual is not supported and cared for by families and by extension policies and services, they cannot develop to their full potential.

UNICEF will also be supporting components of the National Reintegration Policy of Adolescent mothers into the school system.

In Guyana, 20 per cent of adolescents are pregnant before the age of 18. This was according to a report on the situation with teen pregnancies in the country done by UNICEF in 2018.

While there were challenges last year, UNICEF put into operation the adolescent mothers’ clinics, general adolescent health services, the men’s health programme and the community support parenting services. UNICEF collaborated with the Ministry of Public Health last year to implement a sports programme for the Venezuelan migrants.

The first ever Study of Social Norms as it relates to Physical, Sexual and Emotional Violence against children was completed and handed over to the Minister of Social Protection.

The cross-cutting adolescent programme is a partnership with UNICEF and number of stakeholders inclusive of the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Social Protection, Ministry of Indigenous Peoples Affairs, Rights of the Child Commission and Women Across Differences.

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