Adolescent health care on the card

Guyana Chronicle
March 19, 2003

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The mobilization of an Adolescent Health Department (AHD) which is being formalized by the Ministry of Health to ensure that adolescent health issues are addressed is presently before the Cabinet.

The overall idea is to work in collaboration with the Ministries of Human Services and Social Security and Culture, Youth and Sports to facilitate better planning for youth health-related issues.

Presently schools health clubs are facilitated to promote health issues in some regions.Regions Three, Four and Six have already benefited.

The main intention is to have the clubs, which focus on HIV/AIDS, drug awareness and individual health issues, established throughout the country.

Activities such as health trips for various groups and speeches are coordinated by the Ministry and organizers of the AHD, while teachers operate as advisors to the clubs.

According to Adolescent Health Promotion Coordinator, Jennifer Miller the focus of these health clubs and the proposal to establish an Adolescent Health Department is to highlight “Youth as a priority.”

The expansion of the small staff operating out of the Ministry of Health which is facilitating the programme, depends on the approval of the proposal for the AHD by Cabinet.

Although it is one of the primary health programmes set up to help youths, there are a number of other institutions across the country that facilitate counselling for youths.

The National Aids Programme Secretariat (NAPS) and the Linden Care Foundation facilitate counselling in HIV/AIDS.

There are approximately nine non-governmental Organisations (NGO’s) which facilitate counselling on some scale or another. The Ministry of Human Services and Social Security through their probation and Family welfare Office accommodates counselling of another nature.

Just recently a counselling centre has been established at Port Mourant after a high incidence of suicide in that community and its environs. Services at the Centre, however, will not be relegated only to suicide-related issues, but to other common problems in the communities of Regions Five and Six. (GINA)

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