Health and wellness days for adolescents at health centres being advocated –health care professionals trained
DPI/GINA, GUYANA, Monday, June 12, 2017
The Ministries of Health, Social Protection and Education along with the Peace Corps are hosting a training workshop for health care professionals who may have direct interactions with adolescents. The workshop will run from June 12 to 15, 2017 at Cara Lodge in Georgetown.
From this workshop, plans are expected to be developed for the implementation of adolescent health clinics and community group programmes at selected facilities. Moreover, a health and wellness day is being advocated even as these clinics are being established; adolescent support groups that have already been launched throughout Guyana. These groups seek to provide sexual and reproductive education while ensuring adequate care is rendered, contributing to overall development of adolescents.
Focal Point for Adolescent Health, Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Oneka Scott explained that the inter-ministry effort to pay more attention to adolescent health is timely and gives an edge to delivering healthier adolescents which will increase the workforce, lower the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), lower the economic burden and the chances of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
Among other initiatives, the adolescent health programme will be reaching out to teenaged mothers who may be in need of health and social support. “The other initiative targets non-pregnant teens as well and this is essentially the adolescent health and wellness day, a spin off from youth friendly services this is where we seek to offer basic services to adolescents. We have launched 24 of these sites to date.” Dr. Scott noted.
Dr. Scott further said that there is the need to develop adolescent health clinics, locally. This, she added, would allow for the efficient monitoring of an individual from the prenatal stage throughout the infant and adolescent stages.
“Guyana for a long time now, has decided that we will look at health across the life cycle. And we cannot have a very good maternal and child health programme and then we see that young person after we discharge them, at five years old, until they’re pregnant or until they come with a chronic disease that is diagnosed in late adolescence.” She explained.
Participants will become familiar with the adolescent health initiatives leading to its implementation. They will also be able to describe important elements of adolescence including health and social factors which contribute to development. Trainees will also benefit from skills which will enhance their ability to provide effective adolescent health services.
Dr. Scott further pushed that adolescent health cannot be the sole responsibility of the Ministry of Public Health but rather of those agencies which directly influence the health of young people.
The Regional Framework to reduce adolescent pregnancy is also being used as a guide to attain the overall goal of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) which is to reduce the high rates of adolescent pregnancy by 20 per cent in the Caribbean by 2019.
This will be guided by five strategies, each one to be achieved within a four year period. These strategies are to provide access to responsive sexual and reproductive services information and commodities and to age appropriate comprehensive sexuality education.
The other strategies are to have social protection mechanisms for the prevention of all forms of violence against adolescent girls. Legal standards should also be in place to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, information and good practices towards addressing adolescent pregnancy.
By: Delicia Haynes