Several high school pupils attended a health and career day exhibition hosted by the Lotus River Community Day Centre (CDC), as part of a Youth Month celebration, at the Grassy Park civic centre on Wednesday June 12.
Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said being young was a wonderful time but came with great responsibility.
“The health choices that our youth make today can have a lifelong impact. High teenage pregnancy rates and HIV positive youth are but a few of the challenges among our current youth. HIV/Aids is one of the biggest burdens of disease that plagues society. It is alarming to see that there is an increase among young aduls,” she said.
She added that it was poor socio-economic conditions faced by our youth which led to alcohol and drug abuse and risky sexual behaviours.
“We have many programmes and initiatives for youth in an attempt to improve health outcomes for future generations. It is important for our youth to empower themselves with information about their health and how they can protect the health of others,” she said.
The health department has numerous services and initiatives aimed at developing healthy young adults and keeping them healthy, she added.
One of these initiatives is the free health and career day exhibition for pupils from Grassy Park, Lotus River and the surrounding areas.
The CDC partnered with the Department of Education, the City of Cape Town and the Cape Careers Exhibitors Association. A range of services were available including youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services with various forms of family planning advice for sexually active young people; mental health discussions; and nutritional information.
Other services offered by the department include substance abuse assistance, Medical Male Circumcision (MMC), and Adolescent Youth Friendly Service (AYFS) sites that deliver services aimed at youth at times that suit them. .
Youngsters can also get help through B-wise, a mobi-site dedicated to the youth. This site has information and tools that promote healthy lifestyles to adolescents and youth between the ages of 10 to 14, 15 to 19 and 20 to 24. Youth are able to access information on topics such as sexual and reproductive health and rights, HIV/ Aids and TB, nutrition and fitness. Visit the site on https://bwisehealth.com/