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Fiji Time: 6:32 AM on Thursday 21 August

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Youths tackle health issues

Sherita Sharma
Saturday, December 22, 2012

YOUTHS from around the world have come to a consensus in discussing strategies to maintaining healthy living at a global youth meet in Bali.

The Bali youth forum held from December 4-6 was for young people, youth groups and other stakeholders to discuss staying healthy and other relevant issues affecting the lives of youths around the globe.

The outcome document of the meet outlined that governments have to provide and monitor universal access to basic youth-friendly services, including mental healthcare and sexual and reproductive health services, that are affordable, high quality and free of stigma and discrimination.

"As part of this basic package, governments must provide comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services that include safe and legal abortion, maternity care, contraception, HIV and STI prevention, care, treatment and counselling to all young people," a statement said.

It stated: "Governments should ensure that all healthcare providers receive training on youth-specific health issues and provision of adolescent and youth-friendly services through pre-service and in-service training and professional development".

The document also said governments needed to address harmful traditional practices such as forced circumcision and genital mutilation, early and forced marriage, gender-based violence and violence against women.

Education on health was seen as a major priority, and youth groups pushed for governments to make available avenues for making youths aware on issues of health especially HIV/AIDS.

"The International community including governments, NGOs, private sector and civil society must establish partnerships to make adolescents and youth aware of their rights to staying healthy through formal and non-formal education."

Discussions on strengthening of relationships between governments, youths and civil societies in collecting and using health data for youths, as well as investing in youth-led and youth-friendly health programs also took place at the meet.


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