Health Ministry crafts plan to confront teenage pregnancy, other youth health issues
In an effort to detect and treat health-related issues among young people, programmes will be developed by the Health and Education Ministries.
This is according to Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony who on Monday said his ministry will collaborate with the Ministry of Education, to provide healthcare to young people and children.
The minister said teenage pregnancies have become a noticeable issue within some regions. He explained that documented statistics note the importance of addressing the issue forthwith.
Further, the minister noted that healthcare workers are being trained to be more open to treating dealing with these instances.
“We know when a young girl is pregnant it can be very disruptive to their development and so forth. This is one of the things we have been working with the education department in trying to reduce teenage pregnancy,” the Health Minister said.
He added that the collaboration will be with other international healthcare bodies such as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The UNFPA is a sexual and reproductive health agency.
He said, “there are some stats relating to this how many cases we get in a given year, the locations and based on that information the programmes have targeted those regions.”
“Very often you can have healthcare workers who might be reluctant to give healthcare services to a teenager, especially with teenage pregnancy and so forth.” Dr Anthony added.
In addition, Dr Anthony said the ministries will also collaborate to introduce regular eye testing, hearing checks and oral examinations into the schools. He said the healthcare programmes will be done for children nearing the end of the school year.
However, the minister said all the details are not finalised but the intention is to have the programmes rolled out in the months to come.
Vision and hearing impediments can affect learners by leading to loss of learning. The minister said it is important that these issues are detected early and treated.
Another issue is the eating habits of young people, he said. He explained that many young people do not consider their eating habits to pose a risk to their health.
This is a problem that the ministry will try to address by engaging young persons and advising them about healthy eating habits. This effort will prevent possible non-communicable and chronic diseases.
“We have to start early and make sure that when people understand they have to have proper wellness early on in life,” the minister said.