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1ST GLOBAL TEEN HEALTH WEEK: Healthy Diet and Exercise

2 April, 2018

The Teen Health Week was created by Real Talk with Dr. Offutt and The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, with the support of the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The week was first celebrated in 2016 in Pennsylvania, USA. This year, 2018, the Teen Health week was celebrated as a global initiative with the aim of “supporting teens across the world to take charge of their physical and mental health, and to facilitate healthy habits they will carry throughout their lives”.

The Society for Adolescents and Young Peoples’ Health in Nigeria (SAYPHIN) is an association of adolescent health researchers, programmers and service providers interested in the health and development of adolescents and young people in Nigeria. The association in collaboration with the Institute of Child Health and Academy for Health and Development (AHEAD) celebrated this year’s Global Teen Health Week focusing on the theme, “healthy diet and exercise”.

A series of activities were organized to commemorate the Teen Health week and these took place on the 2nd of April, 2018. Although this was a week after the official Global Teen Health week, the date was chosen because the information about the Global Teen Health week was received a few days to the event (16 March, 2018) and the organizers required time to plan the event and obtain permission from the parents of the teenagers to attend the event. The date finally chosen was also an official Public Holiday (Easter Monday) and enabled the teenagers who were the main reason for the celebration to participate in the activities.

The main goal of the programme which focused on the “healthy diet and exercise” theme was to sensitize teenagers about the importance of developing healthy lifestyles that include exercise and a healthy diet. In addition, the organization sought to ensure active participation of female teens who often have fewer opportunities for participating in exercise compared to males. Specifically, our objectives were to:

  • provide teens with information about the important role of exercise in health
  • provide teens with information on the importance of healthy diet
  • host an event that included exercise for both male and female teenagers

The programme comprised the following activities:

  • Brief opening remarks and reason for the event – Dr. Olumide Adesola, SAYPHIN Secretary General and Ag. Director, Institute of Child Health (ICH).
  • Amateur football matches for male and female teenagers and young persons.
  • A brief health talk on exercise and health. This was delivered by Mr. Akinwunmi Isogun, a certified football coach with the Oyo state Ministry of Youth and Sports Development
  • A brief talk on the importance of nutrition for adolescents. This was delivered by Ms Funke Williams
  • Brief interviews with some of the teens at the event to highlight lessons learnt from the event
  • A media dissemination to share video clips of the event as well as the teens experiences with other teenagers, their parents and other teen groups via Twitter® (#sayphin06). This was anchored by Mr. Rasheed.
  • A Vote of thanks appreciating the teenagers, their caregivers and parents who were in attendance was given by Dr. Emmanuel Adebayo, SAYPHIN P.R.O.

In all, more than 80 attendees (teenagers and young persons and adults) were present at the event and the social media activities reached up to 20 more people via Twitter®.

Fig1: A cross section of adolescents at the event

Fig 2: A cross section of girls during the four-a-side girls’ match

Fig3: A cross section of boys during the 11-a-side match

Fig 4: The Medal that was awarded to every teenager that participated in the competition

The programme was very successful and the teenagers and their teachers enjoyed the event. They also appreciated the information they received and looked forward to being more involved in exercise and improving their football skills.

Report submitted by: Dr. Olumide Adesola, SAYPHIN General Secretary.

Collaborating partners: Society for Adolescents and Young People’s Health in Nigeria (SAYPHIN), Institute of Child Health (ICH), Academy for Health Development (AHEAD)

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