Nigeria is one of the countries with the most adolescents, with more than 60 million of them. Adolescence is a very crucial period for young people as they grow up. However, a lot of these young adults have health problems.
This article will talk about some of the most common health problems among adolescents in Nigeria.
Adolescence is a time of significant physical, emotional, and social development that occurs during the transition from childhood to adulthood. In Nigeria, adolescence can be a challenging time for many young people, as they navigate complex social, cultural, and economic factors that may impact their growth.
Adolescence typically begins around the age of 12 and ending around the age of 18.
Some of the challenges that adolescents in Nigeria may face are listed below.
Common Adolescence Problems in Nigeria
1. Abusing Drugs and Alcohol
Drug abuse or substance abuse is the use of certain chemicals for the purpose of creating pleasurable effects on the brain.
According to a study published in 2019 stated that 14.4 percent Nigerians aged 15 and 64 abuse drugs every single year. Some of the drugs been abuse in Nigeria include cocaine, heroin, amphetamines, Indian hemp, tramadol, codeine, cough syrup, laxatives and many others.
It is the duty of the government and other relevant agencies to work together in order to reduce the rate by which our youths abuse drugs, which in return will promote the living standard of our youths and also society at large.
Effects of Drug abuse
- Social problems
- Financial problems
- Legal problems
- Strained relationships
- Mental health problems
- Physical harm
2. Economic and political instability
Nigeria is a country with a complex political and economic landscape, and adolescents may be impacted by issues such as unemployment, poverty, and conflict.
Economic and political instability can have significant impacts on adolescents in Nigeria, as it can affect their access to education, healthcare, and other resources that are essential for their development and well-being.
3. Mental health disorder
Mental disorder is a significant adolescent health problem in Nigeria, with an estimated 20%-30% of the population, or about 60 million people, suffering from mental health issues. Mental disorder refers to any condition that causes negative changes in emotion, mood, thinking, or behavior.
Some common mental health problems in Nigeria include ADHD, dementia, bipolar affective disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, anorexia nervosa, and depression. However, mental health is often not given sufficient attention in Nigeria, and there is low public awareness of mental health issues.
In fact, only 3.3% of Nigeria’s total health budget is allocated to mental health, leading to a shortage of mental health professionals in the public system. It is important to prioritize mental health in Nigeria and increase awareness and access to mental health resources and support.
4. Access to education
Economic and political instability may limit adolescents’ access to education, as schools may be closed or underfunded due to economic or security challenges.
5. Peer pressure
Adolescents in Nigeria may feel pressure from their peers to engage in risky or unhealthy behaviors, such as substance abuse or unsafe sexual practices. This can increase the risk of negative consequences and may lead to conflicts with peers or authority figures.
6. Unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections
Adolescents in Nigeria may face challenges related to their sexual and reproductive health, including limited access to information and resources, and may be at risk of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.
To support the healthy growth of adolescents in Nigeria, it is important to address these challenges and provide young people with access to education, healthcare, and other resources that can help them thrive. It is also important to involve adolescents in efforts to address their needs and to provide them with support and guidance as they navigate the challenges of adolescence.