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[afro-nets] Youth Leaders call for increased funding for health sector

Youth Leaders call for increased funding for health sector

Press Release: For Immediate release   
Media Contacts: Ms. Juliet Ogbua +234 84 751 002
Youth Leaders call for increased funding for health sector   

The Second Nigerian Youth Leadership Summit held in Enugu has ended with a call 
for increased funding to the health sector. Organised by Development 
Partnership International, the summit is an annual national youth capacity 
building meeting and inter-generational dialogue, which brings together young 
leaders and professionals from various backgrounds to discuss critical issues 
on youth leadership and sustainable national development.
This year?s summit focused on youth leadership towards better health and 
sustainable development, and brought together youth leaders from 17 states and 
the FCT, young Nigerians in the Diaspora, international health development 
experts, private sector and representatives of the United Nations system. In 
his opening speech, the Executive Director of Development Partnership 
International Mr. Dabesaki Mac-Ikemenjima, reiterated that the year 2006 was 
the most strategic year for youth to focus on health and development issues, 
owing to the overwhelming emphasis that has been laid on health during the year 
2006 through the Abuja +5, the UNGASS +5 events in New York and the World 
Health Assembly. He said young people hold the key to national health and 
sustainable development planning, considering their roles in raising awareness 
and focusing attention on critical policy issues on health development. Chair 
of the Opening Ceremony Prof. C. O. Nwaorgu, emphasised the need to empower the 
youth in order to assist them in taking appropriate decisions on issues that 
relate to their sexuality.
Keynote speaker at the summit, Chief Dumo Lilu-Briggs, CEO of DLB Concerns, 
underscored the importance of education in developing youth who can take 
effective leadership and ensure better health for all. He wondered what level 
of leadership the nation expects from youth who are poorly educated and in some 
cases illiterate. His position was corroborated by Dr. James Garofalo Vice 
President Academics of the ABTI American University, who highlighted the 
importance of an enabling environment for young people to access education and 
stay in school until they graduate, as a key to effective learning and 
intellectual development. Education is the key to sustainable national 
development. Dr. Viola Onwuliri, Africa?s representative to the governing Board 
of the International AIDS Society emphasised the need for youth to abstain from 
sex the surest measure to protect themselves from HIV infection.
The summit featured key speakers from UNFPA, UNAIDS, Mr. Rosanwo Tunde of the 
Nigerian Youth in the Diaspora Network and Mr. Martins Ilo, Economic Adviser to 
the Enugu State government. In declaring the summit open, Enugu state 
Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Bethel Onyenyiri, praised 
the organisers for putting the summit together and expressed hope that the 
summit will yield desired results.
The summit ended with the adoption of the Enugu Youth Declaration on health and 
development, which called for a public-private sector partnership to improve 
funding for health infrastructure and medical supplies. The declaration also 
called for increased funding from the National budget to health, with 
particular reference to the African Union Declaration on AIDS, TB and ORID of 
2001, which recommended 15 percent of national budget and called for the 
establishment of mechanisms to ensure that young people access the resources to 
implement their innovative programmes to ensure better health for all. The date 
and venue for the next summit will be posted on 
in the coming months.

Dabesaki Mac-Ikemenjima 
Director,Development Partnership International
4 Eleme/Onne Road off Eleme Junction, 
Port Harcourt 500001 NIGERIA 
Phone: +234 84 751 002 
Fax:     +234 84 751 002 
Mobile: +234 805 518 2526 

Co-Founder, Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS

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