National Campaign “Investing in Youth Health” was launched in Moldova
CHISINAU, July 11, 2014 – On the occasion of the World Population Day, the Government of Moldova in partnership with youth organizations and UN Agencies – UNFPA, UNICEF and UNDP launched a national campaign to raise awareness about risky behaviours and to promote healthy lifestyles among young people in Moldova.
© UNICEF Moldova, 2014
Young people represent a quarter of Moldova’s population. Key challenges faced by young people in Moldova include early and unsafe sexual practices, increasing HIV rates, abuse of tobacco, alcohol and drugs and lack of communication with their parents.
According to a recent survey by UNICEF and Ministry of Health, only one third of young people is well informed about the main ways of HIV prevention and 7.6% of adolescent girls of 15-19 years have already had a birth or are pregnant with their first child. More so, every second boy and every fifth girl started to drink alcohol before the age of 15.
“Access to youth friendly health services for everyone, including the most vulnerable young people, is crucial for a healthy young generation”, said Valeria Borta, representative of Y-PEER Moldova, a UNFPA-supported youth-to-youth organization who called for more investments in youth health.
“The national network of Youth Friendly Health Centres helps young people take informed decisions in fulfilling their needs, interests and aspirations”, said Galina Lesco, Director of the “Neovita” Youth Friendly Health Centre in Chisinau.
The month-long campaign “Investing in Youth Health”, which will end on the International Youth Day on August 12, promotes the 37 Youth-Friendly Health Centres which provide information and services to young people on reproductive health and safe behaviours, making the voice of young people heard through blogs, debates and press clubs, flash mobs and photo exhibitions. As part of the campaign, Moldova joins UNFPA’s innovative global initiative #healthyselfie which engages young people, decision makers and general public in promoting healthy lifestyles.
© UNICEF Moldova, 2014
“The Ministry of Health is committed to engage young people in planning and monitoring policies concerning their health and wellbeing. We will offer the support needed to the Youth Friendly Health Centers as part of the national health care system in order to reach out to all young people with timely and quality services”, said Tatiana Zatic, Head of Department at the Ministry of Health.
The world today has its largest generation of youth in history – 1.8 billion young people, with enormous potential to help tackle the major challenges of their societies. In the national consultations on the Future Moldova Wants, young people said that what they want is better education, healthy lifestyle and job opportunities in a more tolerant, cohesive and sustainable society.
The UN in Moldova has supported a series of youth initiatives, including in the Transnistrian region – from youth-to-youth Y-PEER, educating young people to advocate for new technologies and environmentally friendly life-styles, making the voice of young people heard through innovative tools such OneMinuteJr or online games to find solutions for youth unemployment [to helping young people from vulnerable groups access the state guaranteed legal aid system and participate more in the life of the community.
“We very much welcome all efforts to ensure youth is a priority of the national and local development strategies”, said Nicola Harrington-Buhay, UN Resident Coordinator in Moldova. “The voice of Moldovan young people has been heard internationally with youth advocates participating in global events discussing how youth can contribute to equitable progress in their society”.
For more information please contact Ganna Iovchu, Communications Associate, UNFPA Moldova,
cell: 068988015; firstname.lastname@example.org