Adolescence, a period between childhood and adulthood, is when a lot of rapid and essential development occurs physically, physiologically, psychologically, and emotionally. Concomitantly, it is when most healthy and unhealthy behaviors that affect adult life are set in motion. It is estimated that about 3000 adolescents die every day globally, resulting in 1.2 million deaths per year from mostly preventable diseasesSadly, more than two-thirds of these deaths occur in low and middle-income countries, with Africa alone recording about 45% 

For instance, the fact sheet by UNFPA released in 2008 on adolescent health and development in Nigeria, centered around sexual and reproductive health, nutrition, substance use, violence, mental health and access to information and services, reveals a snapshot and grim picture of the prevailing state of health of our adolescents. Furthermore, the National Policy published in 2007 also highlights the challenges adolescents face in the country, covering nine major thematic areas.  

Unfortunately, the current population of adolescents is 1.2 billion, being the largest the world has ever had, making up 16% of the world’s population and Sub-saharan Africa alone, having adolescents as 23% of its population.  

 Therefore, with this teeming population and high death rates in Africa, there is an urgent need to deliberately invest in the health needs of adolescents and reduce preventable deaths through the provision of evidence-based, adolescent-friendly, culturally appropriate, readily accessible, and affordable interventions which could yield significant benefit in terms of human and economic resources now, in the future and for generations to come. 

At the Centre for Adolescent Health and Social Development, we hope to alleviate the challenges of our adolescents by addressing the gaps in their healthcare systematically through our health education and public awareness programs, community healthcare services, skill acquisition and mentoring, research and policy advocacy and counselling services.  

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