Key practice: Adolescent health
Better health for tomorrow's leaders
Ensure wellness and proper development of adolescents by supporting and encouraging them to use adolescent and youth friendly services including getting information about Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)/Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), HIV/AIDS and contraception.
Why should we focus on adolescent health?
- It is important for parents/caregivers to talk to their adolescents without feeling shy as well as create a safe space for them to discuss what they want to share with the adolescents.
- Parents/caregivers should be able to find ways/activities to engage adolescents so that they can have all the information before making decisions with regards to contraception and STIs/STDs and HIV/AIDS.
- Create safe spaces where parents/caregivers can easily communicate to adolescents about delaying sexual relations, avoiding smoking, drinking alcohol and taking drugs.
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Benefits of focusing on adolescent health
- Parental involvement helps improve knowledge of the various services available at the community and empowers the adolescent to access services.
- Psychosocial support by parents has influence on the behaviour of the adolescents because it addresses some social norms and prevailing cultural values that impede health seeking behaviour and participation rights of girls and boys.
- It helps build the various skills of adolescents and their families to address harmful social norms and practices related to health seeking by adolescents (better decision making, meaningful participation- peers).
If parents/caregivers don’t focus on adolescent health
- The adolescents may look up to peers for information which may be incorrect and not age appropriate hence increased teenage pregnancies, abortions, HIV infection, among other negative consequences.
- Most of the health-related issues that present later in life start during adolescence (Mental health, Non communicable disease/ diseases of life style) so if not addressed during this stage may lead to complications.