LINDA NYONDO, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT plans to introduce child health week focusing on adolescents to equip them with knowledge on healthy living, says the Ministry of Health.
Acting director of public health and research Francis Mwansa said once implemented, the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with line ministries such as that of General Education and other co-operating partners, intends to roll out the programme across the country.
He said the decision was arrived at upon realisation that child health week should not only focus on under-five children but on older children as well.
Dr Mwansa, who was speaking in an interview recently, said the ministry will use the scheduled child health week programme, which is conducted twice in a year, to reach out to adolescents.
He said having a healthy nation can only be achieved through primary health care approach to have health services closer to the people.
Dr Mwansa said the health of a person is better handled by having check-ups on a regular basis.
“Government intends to engage adolescents to give them information on sexual reproductive health and on the importance of going for regular medical check-ups. We want them to make informed decisions in order to keep healthy,” he said.
Dr Mwansa said adolescents will also be educated on the importance of nutrition, physical training, gardening and sexual reproductive health as well as other health-related issues.
He said the information will be tailored to enable adolescents make informed decisions after being engaged by health practitioners and other partners.
Dr Mwansa said most of the information on health has been integrated into the school curriculum enabling most adolescents to acquire information from their respective schools.