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WASH director insists on clean water and basic hygiene

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Young people in Rivers State have urged the government to be more responsive to their needs by providing an enabling environment at health centers and more education programs to address drug abuse, worship, violence and abuse. other vices in the state.
Speaking to The Tide in separate interviews on the sidelines of an Adolescent Priority/Annual Implementation Plan follow-up workshop hosted by the Rivers State Department of Health in conjunction with the Federal Department of Health Health and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Port Harcourt recently, some adolescents who participated in the workshop noted that greater attention to the needs of adolescents and young people will promote the development of society.
Mr Okwua Ezekiel said that the three health facilities of Orogbum, Ozuoba and Mgbudunku that were visited during the adolescent program had very limited free space and no easy access for young people to receive counseling or treatment because they would like their privacy to be preserved.
Ezekiel, who is a Youth Champion from the State Department of Health representing Port Harcourt Local Government Area, further noted that the government should help create free space for adolescents in these health centers so that more adolescents are willing to visit these centers for treatment and counselling.
He also noted that health care providers in these centers should be young, friendly and accommodating unlike the elderly who are often harsh in their attitude towards teenagers, adding that the centers only focus on cases of pregnancy, teenage conception and rape, no drug counseling, worship and services for their teenage males and N800 access fee for card/record may not be affordable for teenage boys.
He however pleaded for the government to maintain the building provided to adolescents by the Charlton Adolescent Health Initiative at the Orogbum center which has been converted into family planning for adolescents. provided information like that for teenage rape cases.
He also instructed the government to do more with the dissemination of information to adolescents in schools, both public and private, on the consequences and effects of these vices in which adolescents indulge, adding that the government can join in brand companies, especially during festive seasons to talk to teenagers about these vices.
According to him, “the ministry should focus its action in the Diobu axis and other sensitive areas of the state which have a high rate of worship and drug addiction among adolescents and young people. Also, the police should be trained not to abuse teenagers, especially around the Mile One area. He noted that police actions sometimes drive these young boys to join cults, he said.
Another youngster, Miss Catherine Dasosi, said there is an urgent need for the government to reduce the incidence of teenage drug addiction which is the basis of crime and violence in the state.
Dasosi, who is also a youth champion representing Gokana LGA, has also advocated with bodies such as the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to help adolescents more by providing funds to reach these young people. .
She also noted that “parents are part of the problem because some don’t have time for their children, they don’t know how to take care of them or even advise them”.
She also instructed religious bodies to devote more time to educating teens in their midst on everything they need to know, including sex education.
Dasosi, however, said he was happy with what the state Department of Health was doing regarding adolescents, although he needed to do more to help young people.
She explained that as a youth champion representing the ministry in Gokana, LGA, she counsels young people between the ages of 13 and 24 in the three wards of Bodo City and Gokana.
“I go to churches on Sundays or youth days/programs. At 2 p.m. I visit student social clubs or elite groups. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I visit schools in the area for counseling to talk to them about sexual abstinence, STI issues, gender-based violence, conception, family planning methods, worship, alcoholism and drug addiction.

By: Ibinabo Ogolo