Young People Hold The Key To Fighting Diseases In Africa
“Young Africans are the key to a healthy future for the continent.” Those were the words of the Executive Director for Africa, Junior Doctors Network, World Medical Association; Patrick Ezie who has maintained that young Africans are principal part of the fight to tackle disease that plagues the continent.
Patrick, a young health advocate is also the founder of SAYITNigeria, an NGO he created based on the basic principles of Societal and Youth Transformation.
“We believe that societies and young people need to be transformed in order to bring about the changes that the society requires. It is not about “we” in the NGO but “they” themselves in the society. So we do our best to ensure that through our advocacy they are re oriented about Women’s Health& Rights, HIV and AIDS, Cancers, infectious and non Communicable diseases, we have free Medical outreaches as often as funds and grants allow, but community members need to be in good state of health before they can be educated,” he said.
Patrick’s organisation works with youth who are in school and those who are out of school in local communities.
He works with young people in local communities by training them on youth empowerment, unwanted pregnancies, women’s reproductive health and rights and other young people related issues.
Patrick believes that young people holds the key to the future of Africa health and that is why they must get involve in advocacy work to help educate and fight diseases bordering Africans in the next century.
“Most times, all that’s lacking is adequate information on the issues and I believe that health advocacy especially with young people will help us win the war on disease in the next century,” he said.
On working in local communities in Nigeria, Patrick said it is a bit hard because there are few or no health facilities and there are lots of orphans and vulnerable people.
By the end of in the next decade, Patrick says if African youth of today can rise, “we may be able to change the face of health in Africa.”
But he says this change can only come if Africans do away with greed and corruption; and believe in self-development and creation of a sustainable future for Africa.