There is a renewed focus on the health and well-being of adolescents and young people coming to Benue State following the September 2015 launch of a 5-Year Action Plan for Advancing the Health and Development of Adolescents and Young People in Benue State by the state government in partnership with Education as a Vaccine, the United Nations Population Fund and other development organizations.

The Action Plan was launched in September 2015 by the Benue State Ministry of Health in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Education as a Vaccine (EVA), and other local development partners. The document guides development partners working on intervention programmes for adolescents and young people to key into the prepared Action Plan Document for execution of their programmes.

The document was produced with support from members of technical working group of adolescent health development under the Benue State Ministry of Health, with EVA, taking the lead role of coordinating organization.

Mr. Lanre Alabi, a Monitoring and Evaluation Expert with the UNFPA, spoke at the launch, which held at the Kimbis International Hotel in Makurdi, Benue State. He applauded the Benue State Government and other coordinating organizations for developing a plan that will provide opportunities for adolescents and young people to access health services.

Dr. Mrs. Betty Agber, the Director of Administration and Supply with the Benue State Ministry of Health, led the launch and expressed satisfaction with the document stating she would waste no time in calling other development partners and NGOs to participate in the plan’s full implementation.

Alabi echoed the call for partnership in implementation stressing that youths constitute 33% of the Benue State population but face significant challenges ranging from HIV/AIDS, STIs, unplanned pregnancies, and unsafe abortions, amongst others.

At the end of the event, copies of the plan were distributed to participants. Attendees included Dr. Terver Chieshe, Reproductive Health Coordinator with Benue State Ministry of Health; Mr. Yamsa S.G.S, Director, Benue state Planning Commission, and among others.