PAN Recommends No.5, 2007
….that youth groups be supported as agents of change for adolescent health.
This can be achieved by ….
- Organizing youth groups in schools and communities;
- Promoting networking of youth groups in health and nutrition directed activities;
- Providing a one-stop resource for organized youth groups seeking advise for activities and inputs;
- Inviting youth groups to participate as advocates for a healthy lifestyle.
Why are we concerned with adolescent health?
The burden of adolescence:
- Many Filipino adolescents are either underweight or overweight, causing health and psycho-social problems; most are suffering from iron deficiency anemia, sapping their energy and productivity.
- Today’s adolescents face direct threats to their health with the increase in unhealthy practices:poor eating habits, smoking, alcoholism, intake of prohibited drugs;
- A substantial proportion of adolescents are directly at risk because of unplanned pregnancy. Moreover, early pregnancy is likely to result in low birth weight and malnourished infants.
- Non-communicable diseases are increasingly prevalent even among the young; NCDs can be addressed by promoting healthy lifestyle starting at a young age.
- Investment on adolescent health has far-reaching benefits to the youth of today as well as benefits that can be felt when today’s adolescence move to adulthood
Why are we recommending that the youth be an agent of change?
- The youth occupies a major segment of the Philippine population, constituting a powerful, largely untapped, social and intellectual force.
- They are filled with fresh ideas and hopeful dreams, beaming with enthusiasm, and all too eager to voice their aspirations.
- They are in best position to understand their own problems, think of what is best for them, and decide on what they should do.
- They are at the doorstep of adulthood, eager to contribute to the welfare of society when called upon.
- What should we do together to support youth groups as agents of change for adolescent health?
What should we do…?
- National government agencies concerned with adolescents: DOH, DepEd, DSWD, etc
- Integrate adolescent health & nutrition into their programs
- Local governments at provincial, municipal & barangay level
* Include youth groups into their nutrition action committees
* Integrate adolescent health into their programs
What can we do…?
- Sangunian Kabataan
* Include strategies for improving adolescent health
- NGOs, private sector and civil society
* Lead in establishing youth groups in their areas;
* Facilitate the planning/and implementing health programs for adolescents
…together with the PHILIPPINE ASSOCIATION OF NUTRITION lending its technical resources.
What can the PAN do?
- Lend its technical resource at the central and local level;
- Organize adolescent health symposia, seminars and workshops
- Facilitate networking among youth groups.
Let us mobilize the youth as agents of change for adolescent health!