Home Discrimination Nutrition, an obstacle to access Adolescent Responsive and Youth Friendly Services in Africa!

Nutrition, an obstacle to access Adolescent Responsive and Youth Friendly Services in Africa!

by Maurine Tukahirwa

We all know that saying, you look what you eat? Well don’t think that it is a coincidence, it’s actually a fact. Anyway most of us might be wondering how Nutrition hinders Adolescent responsive health services, first and foremost, let’s stop looking at health services only meant for treatment, going to a health facility to get subscriptions and that’s it, I except us to be way past that. We need need to also look at prevention and health information dissemination and in this case, lets identify those core hindrances of Adolescents access to health care services. If you are to look at it keenly, it starts with the individual’s self confidence and will. That’s where body Imaging becomes key to. Confidence also helps you overcome self stigma which is caused by the myths and misconceptions society has surrounded an Adolescent Girl and a Young Woman. Diet related behaviors are very key during Adolescence. Any body changes come with lots of challenges starting from perception to Discrimination.

Anyhow, Taking us back to the statement we all look like what we eat, appropriate information on nutrition would help us solve the biggest portion of these problems, of course alongside addressing other key issues like inadequate resources and attitude of health service providers. We are living in a world where everyone is so determined to judge those around them except for themselves, it’s inevitable and it will take lots of determination, sacrifice to change their mindsets. Let’s not forget the Non-Communicable Diseases ( NCDs) that come as a result of poor nutrition. they contribute to 35% of Annual Deaths here in Uganda according to NCDA. These NCDs also contribute so much to the drastic body changes among Adolescents which has been realised as the biggest challenge do far.Nutrition cuts across every adolescent, one of the challenges Youth friendly corners have faced is that at the back of Young people’s minds they look at these corners as made for only treatment and at-least counseling services. A perfectly healthy adolescent sees no reason to visit a youth friendly corner yet if you asked me that shouldn’t be the case.  Its sad that programmers and policy makers who think that they are formulating interventions to provide good health to Young People don’t look at nutrition as a priority yet young children as early as 5 years get to suffer from such diseases, where have we gone wrong? Could we be focusing on the right things but at the wrong time, before we walk, can we first learn how to crawl I mean baby steps!

You may also like