Prof. Adesegun Fatusi

University of Medical  Science, Ondo, Ondo State Vice Chancellor Prof Adesegun Fatusi  yesterday urged the youths and older generation to partner in enhancing societal development.

Fatusi, who is the President, Society for Adolescent and Young People’s Health in Nigeria (SAYPHINA) spoke at a symposium to mark the International Youths Day. The symposium, according to him,  was geared towards creating structures that fosters innovation for adolescents and youth health.

The talk show witnessed the launch of activities towards hosting the group’s third National Conference on Adolescent and Youth Health and Development, EKO 2023, scheduled to hold in Lagos in August  next year.   Fatusi said the day signifies what the society needs to do to improve the lives of young people.

He added that the event aims at optimising young people to fulfill their potential and equip them with necessary skills while creating environment to enable them become their best version.

The Key note Speaker/Executive Director,  Action Health Incorporated, Adenike Esiet, noted that young people bring much changes to the table and are blessed with optimism.

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She said the commemoration is an attempt to draw attention to issues that affect youths development and opportunities to prosper. Specifically, this year’s theme is around ‘intergenerational solidarity: creating a world  for all ages’ presents a great opportunity for actors in this field and young people to recognise the importance of building solidarity, understanding and willingness to help one another for the good of all.

“Young people have the advantage of fresh and creative ideas, energy and ability to work for success and its important that adults acknowledge this. In the very same way the young people need to recognise the resources that older people bring to the table,” Esiet said.

She called on the government to focus on education, not limited to an institution but ensuring everyone has an enabling environment to learn.

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Olusegun Ogboye, said that young people face challenges that can compromise their health and development potentials if not properly addressed.

According to him, one of the most important commitments a country can make for its economic, social and political progress is to address their health and development needs, noting that some factors that impact development of adolescents include social media, urbanisation, unhealthy diets, armed conflicts, climate change and migration.”

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“Past experiences revealed that young people would rather patronise quacks instead of the hospitals as quacks are perceived as ‘confidential though not safe’, while the hospitals are ‘safe but not confidential’. It became important to create safe and confidential spaces for these young people, hence the establishment of Hello Lagos Youth Friendly Centres, designed to provide quality safe confidential youth friendly health services,” his statement added.

Chairman, Lagos State primary healthcare board, Akinsanya Osibogun stated that policies that recognise the changing times and provide opportunities for youths to be mentored and grow should be enacted.

He called on the youths to take advantage of existing opportunities and not discountenance adults who have experience and wisdom.

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