It is estimated that there are more than 19 million adolescents (10 – 19 years old) in Egypt constituting 19 percent of the total population. This age group is the most critical and vulnerable period of life. Adolescents face profound health risks that constitute major challenges to their development and welfare. All international health agencies persistently call for fostering supportive policies and programs aiming at responding to the health needs and rights of adolescents. Investing in promoting adolescents’ health is the most cost-effective initiative a nation can undertake and is central to the success of the Sustainable Development Goals.
One of the main pillars of satisfying the urgent health needs of adolescents is the availability of motivated, knowledgeable and skilled healthcare providers who can and be able to address and handle the specific health expectations for this unique age group. Adolescents are not children anymore and are also not adults yet. Pediatricians are not usually able to communicate with adolescents and at the same time; adolescents do not always accept to visit them. This also goes for healthcare providers dealing with grown up older population. The specialty of Adolescent Medicine has been gaining growing global recognition since its start in USA in 1956 including, and only recently, in a limited number of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. These specialists have been able to accelerate the efforts being made to provide holistic and comprehensive solutions aiming at promoting adolescents health on all policy, programmatic and implementation levels in their countries and through international organizations.
WHO recommends that medical and nursing school curricula in developing countries are able to provide practical information and skills to the undergraduate healthcare providers related to adolescents health and programs. This is not the case in Egyptian Medical and Nursing Schools. Recently graduated physicians and nurses don’t usually have enough knowledge and skills that make them able and willing to address the healthcare needs and expectations of the large and increasing cohort of the adolescent population. However, most of these physicians will be soon in charge of 5500 primary health care units and will be at the frontline with community health challenges.
The Egyptian Society for Adolescent Medicine (ESAM) seeks to establish a cadre of trained and qualified healthcare providers in Egypt who are willing and able to foster the whole issue of adolescents’ health and wellbeing at the preventive and curative levels. The Society has worked with several national, regional and international agencies to advance knowledge and skills among healthcare providers. The Society has established a national core team of trainers who can conduct capacity building activities to healthcare providers in an interactive and engaging way.
TRAINING WORKSHOPS ON ADOLESCENT HEALTH FOR HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS:
ESAM has conducted and shared in conducting several training workshops on adolescent healthcare for recently graduated physicians and nurses in Egypt and some Arab countries.
THE WORKSHOPS AIM AT:
Establish a cadre of Arab Adolescent Health Practitioners.
KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS TO BE GAINED:
Upon completion of training, physicians and nurses will be able to:
October 8th- 12th, 2017
Oyoun Mousa, Sinai, Egypt
In collaboration with the National Committee for Culture & Science, Ministry of High Education
Attended by 26 physicians and nurses
December 9th-13th, 2017
In collaboration with Plan International
Attended by 26 physicians and nurses
November 23rd-26th, 2018
Organized by EuTeach and was attended by 32 physicians
December 8th-12th, 2019
Amman, Jordan (preceding the 3rd MENA region Adolescent Health Conference)
In Collaboration with Royal Health Awareness Society in Jordan and the International Development and Research Center (IDRC) in Canada
Attended by 29 physicians and nurses from 19 Arab countries.
November 29th, 2017
Attended by 220 staff members and students
February 14th, 2018
Attended by 240 staff members and students
March 28th, 2018
Organized by UNFPA Country Office
Attended by senior staff from School Health Department, MOH.
December 19th, 2017
Attended by multidisciplinary audience of healthcare providers, program managers, national and international organizations