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‘FG not meeting health needs of young people’

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A coalition of youths under the auspices, the Nigerian Youth Champions for Universal Health Coverage (NYC) has accused the Federal Government of not adequately addressing the health needs of youths and adolescents in the country.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja, the chairperson NYC4UHC, Nita George lamented that the sluggish progress in achieving universal health for all Nigerians, has led to the untimely death of adolescents and young people from preventable causes.

According to her, there was need for the Federal Government to include youths in the national steering committee of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF), in order to ensure that the health needs of young people and adolescents were adequately addressed by government.

“More youths who constitute the future of the nation are faced daily with diverse health challenges in a system that pays very little attention to their access to quality and youth friendly services such as contraceptive and correct health information.

“A lot of adolescents and young people die yearly mostly from preventable or treatable causes such as unprotected sex, HIV, prescription, drug abuse, unsafe abortions, respiratory infections.

“Several international and local laws emphasise the need for access to the highest attainable standard of health for young people. Sadly, this is not the case in Nigeria.

Young people needs to be engaged in health activities in the country to change the narratives because, the major issues young people are facing are not really captured in health care facilities.

We want true representation of the scenario. “We call on the Minister of Health, to create a seat for the young people in the national steering committee of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund, to represent the voices of the young people on issues affecting them as recommended by the Global Financing Facility (GFF) country multi stakeholders guidance note,” she said.

George who stressed on the need for politicians to prioritise universal healthcare coverage in the country, called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the legislature to ensure that the 55.1 Billion naira budgeted health capital expenditure was captured in the statutory transfer schedule, to protect against budget shortfall.

“We want the 8th Assembly to ensure that the money that is committed in the health capital expenditure is duly released and utilised,” she added.

George however warned that any politician who fails to prioritise healthcare service delivery in their various states and communities would be voted out by youths during the 2019 general elections.

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