MOH News
Dr. Al-Rowaf: “We're Facing a Problem in the Provision of Best-Quality Health Services for Adolescents”
10 April 2012
   Dr. Salman Al-Rowaf, Professor of Medicine at the Imperial College, London, and Director-General of the WHO Office in the UK, has outlined a research paper before the GCC Conference for the Youth and Adolescents' Health, currently held in Jeddah. In his address before the conference, Dr. Al-Rowaf emphasized that there is a problem in the provision of best and most effective health services for the youth and adolescents, making clear that today's youth are drastically different from the past generations owing to the numerous risks and relentless progress. He pointed out that such circumstances have thorough effect on the youth's health and mentality.
 
He added, “It is crucially necessary to pay as great attention to the health of the youth and adolescents as the enormity of their suffering, with regard to chronic diseases, and the risk of such unhealthy habits as smoking, drug abuse, sexual diseases, and blood-pressure diseases. The youth could be drifted in such hazardous directions in their quest of the requirements of life, which could be unavailable or too costly for them. They are, thus, forced to pursue such devastating paths.”
 
He went on to say, “The youth, nowadays, are encountered with numerous risks, most notably road accidents, which could be averted or reduced.”
 
It followed that he posed a question to the attendees, “Are our health systems good enough to meet the requirements of the youth aged 12-25 years, who make up about 50 per cent in developing countries (including GCC countries)? The answer is resounding: No. We don't have proper services for the youth's requirements, demands and aspirations. Our services could be developed to be qualified for the requirements of this segment, by paying closer attention to them, getting them involved in the various activities, listening to their requirements and opinions, and giving advice to them. This is to be carried out by the relevant authorities, such as the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Youth Welfare Commission, etc.
 
 “Our main concern,” Dr. Al-Rowaf continued, “is to build up a generation of leaders, characterized by discipline and order, by providing advice proper for their ages and requirements. Actually, we have to confess that the age difference between MOH officials and the youth is significantly big. Therefore, there is a wide gap between them.”
 
Then he emphasized that the availability of a specialized health work team and a family doctor would contribute to solving the problems facing young people, as this step is projected to provide integrated and continuous healthcare for them. Meanwhile, he called upon the relevant authorities to take serious steps towards the development of the state agencies, especially the media. “The youth have to be granted greater role in the organization of the media campaigns oriented to the youth community,” he stressed.
 
He also called upon officials to make every effort in pursuit of solving the problems facing the youth. He drew attention to some of the solutions embraced by a number of countries to improve the health services provided to the youth. “One of these solutions,” he suggested, “is to form a youth committee, assigned to put forward proposals for the Ministry of Health, through an appropriate mechanism connecting the two of them.”
 



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