National standards introduced for adolescent healthcare

Hon. Casanni Laville (left) displays health standard manual

The Ministry of Health, Wellness, and Social Services, in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), has announced the creation of comprehensive standards for quality healthcare services specifically designed for adolescents.  Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Lynora Fevrier Drigo, noted that Dominica has the distinction of being the first country in the region to implement these standards, a step she views as essential in bridging the gap in healthcare delivery and protecting this generation from the scourge of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Phael Lander, Youth Representative, calls it “a game-changer for young people in Dominica. It shows that our government listens to us and values our health and well-being.”

The primary goal of these standards is to ensure that adolescents throughout Dominica have access to equitable, respectful, and responsive healthcare services. These standards encompass physical, mental, and social health aspects, offering a holistic approach to adolescent healthcare.

Key Components of the Standards:

1. Accessibility: Ensuring healthcare facilities are easily accessible to adolescents, considering factors such as location, operating hours, and affordability.

2. Confidentiality and Privacy: Guaranteeing that adolescents can seek and receive healthcare services in a confidential and private manner, fostering trust and encouraging them to seek help without fear of stigma or breach of privacy.

3. Comprehensive Care: Providing a full range of services that address preventive, curative, and rehabilitative needs, including sexual and reproductive health, mental health support, and substance abuse counseling.

4. Youth-Friendly Services: Creating an environment that is welcoming and non-judgmental, with healthcare providers trained to communicate effectively with adolescents and understand their specific health concerns.

5. Participation and Empowerment: Involving adolescents in the design, implementation, and evaluation of healthcare services to ensure their voices are heard and their needs are met.

6. Collaborative Efforts: This initiative has been developed through extensive collaboration with national and international health experts, adolescent representatives, and community stakeholders.

These standards are aligned with global best practices and the World Health Organization’s guidelines on adolescent health.  A series of training programs will be conducted for healthcare providers across the island, ensuring optimal feasibility and effectiveness. Personnel will be trained in the principles of adolescent-friendly care, communication skills, and the specific health needs of adolescents. Continuous monitoring and evaluation will play a central role as the program develops, in order to allow for adjustments and improvements based on feedback and health outcomes.

Hon. Casanni Laville, Minister of Health, Wellness, and Social Services, remarked, “The development of these standards marks a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to improve healthcare for all Dominicans. Adolescents represent our future, and it is imperative that we provide them with the support and care they need to thrive.”

According to a statement from the Ministry of Health, “This initiative underscores the nation’s commitment to enhancing the well-being and health outcomes of its youth, recognizing their unique needs and challenges during this critical stage of life.”

It went on to say that the establishment of these standards is an initiatory step by the government, with plans for “ongoing assessment and refinement to ensure the highest quality of care for all.”

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  1. Roger Burnett
    June 11, 2024

    If we are to protect this and future generation from the scourge of non-communicable diseases, the focus has to be on encouraging a fulfilling and creative lifestyle.

    It is the depressing state that many youths find themselves in that leads to abuse, in whatever form it takes. That is the root of the problem.

  2. Labour power
    June 11, 2024

    Dominicans will never forget the HOSPITAL USER FEE the wicked blue put on the backs of Dominicans,resulting in hundreds of deaths,especially the Kalinago people.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10

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