Young people below the age of 15 years are the future leaders of tomorrow and they constitute more than 32% of the Nigerian population.
They are a young, energetic, dynamic and very impressionable age-group whose potential for learning is still very high. They belong to a stage in their lives where they are actively willing and able to imbibe whatever they see and hear.
Today, young people in Nigeria are exposed to such an array of information through various media which is unprecedented in history. The information they receive inform their attitudes and thoughts which result in behavioral practices that eventually become their habits.
The Federal Ministry of Health in acknowledgement of this supports the initiative of the Kenneth Kaunda Children of Africa Foundation (KKCAF) in investing in the provision of key information that would encourage healthy lifestyle and equip our children to become positive role models and agents of change.
This handbook will give young people in Nigeria access to key health messages which will help them make informed decisions when confronted with common/endemic challenges of public health importance such as Malaria, Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, Immunization, Hypertension, Diabetes, Cancer, Maternal and Child health.
The style of presentation of the messages makes the handbook both educative and interesting to read.
KKCAF would work in partnership with other stakeholders to make it available to all school students in the country.
This handbook which aligns with the thrust of Ministry of Health Sector Reform of creating awareness and involving the community in health issues that concern them, will also facilitate the achievement of the health and related Millennium Development Goals.
Ultimately, it will leave a legacy that will be passed on from generations to generations of young people in primary and secondary schools who will eventually grow to constitute a population of informed Nigerians, maintaining healthy lifestyles and becoming advocates for the institutionalization of preventive health services.
Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin, OON
Hon Minister of Health