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HST Blog

Jun 14
Celebrating Youth Day: Empowering the Leaders of Tomorrow

By Mandisa Dlamini (Communications Assistant) and Phumula Mudau (Communications Intern)


Youth Day is a world-wide event that honours youth's contribution to the advancement of society and promotes their involvement in forming the future. The 16 June 1976 protests in Soweto, where students marched against the Bantu Education Act and apartheid laws, is being celebrated for the 48th time this year. This day highlights the value of contributing to the development and wellbeing of the younger generation and serves as a reminder of their potential. This year's theme is "Actively advancing socioeconomic gains of our democracy". The commitment is to provide youth with the necessary tools, and resources to enable them to contribute significantly to society and to address critical problems such as unemployment, educational inequality, unfairness in society and insufficient medical care.

The Significance of Youth Day

Youth Day is very important because it honours the bravery and courage of young people who confronted injustice. It acts as a reminder of the influence youth activism has in transforming society and influencing the future. Youth Day highlights the value of funding young people's education, empowerment, and wellbeing by celebrating their contributions to social progress. It promotes a better and more inclusive tomorrow by motivating present and future generations to fight for justice, equality, and human rights. In addition to celebrating youth's vibrancy and potential, Youth Day offers a chance to consider the health and well-being of this generation.

Addressing Youth-Specific Health Challenges

The increase in human papillomavirus (HPV) infections among young women, in particular, in South Africa has drawn a lot of attention, as have initiatives to reduce the risk to health, such as cervical cancer prevention and treatment. If not properly treated, HPV, a common sexually transmitted infection, can cause cervical cancer. To reduce these dangers, South Africa has increased its health measures, especially for young girls. The inclusion of HPV vaccinations in the public health framework is one example of the proactive move taken by the South African government. The HPV vaccine campaign is intended to immunise children before become sexually active. Despite these initiatives, challenges still remain. The uptake of the HPV vaccine has been limited by socioeconomic inequality and restricted access to healthcare and there is still unequal coverage of cervical cancer screening, particularly in rural and disadvantaged areas. Partnerships with public health organisations and ongoing public health initiatives are essential to addressing these concerns. By raising knowledge of HPV and its risks and increasing vaccination rates, these efforts hope to increase participation in screening and vaccination campaigns. The Health Systems Trust also supports Cervical Cancer Prevention Action and Control.

Embracing Mental Health and Wellbeing

Youth present both potential and difficulties, but it's important to remember that mental health and wellbeing come first. Young brains can be negatively impacted by the demands of academic achievement, social expectations, and personal development. It is important to establish supportive environments that place a high priority on mental health awareness, and mental health treatment accessibility. Advancing the wellbeing of, and assisting young people on their path to emotional and psychological wellbeing on this Youth Day, is key.

On Youth Day let's show commitment to putting youth health and well-being first. We can guarantee that the upcoming generation not only survives but also leads healthier, happier lives by providing them with the information, tools, and assistance they require. While we acknowledge their potential and accomplishments, let us also acknowledge the critical role they play in creating a society that is stronger and more resilient.


Read More: Youth Health Africa





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