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Prioritise Mental Health For Youths - ICESCO Chief :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Prioritise Mental Health For Youths - ICESCO Chief

Speaking at the start of a week-long celebrations to mark twenty years of the Afro-Arab Youth Council (AAYC) at Makerere University yesterday (Monday) the Saudi Dr Almalik, a long standing medical practitioner and humanitarian actor said the issue of mental health of the youth was one that had not been given attention but need urgent action.
Delegates, participants at the Yusufu Lule Auditorium, Makerere University.

Audio 2

Dr. Salim Almalik, the Director General of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), has raised concerns about the escalating rates of mental disorders, particularly among the youth, calling for urgent action. 

Speaking at the commencement of a week-long celebration marking twenty years of the Afro-Arab Youth Council (AAYC) at Makerere University, Dr. Almalik emphasized the pressing need to address mental health issues affecting young people, citing alarming statistics indicating over one billion individuals worldwide suffer from mental disorders. 

He noted that one in seven adolescents has been diagnosed with a mental disorder, highlighting the urgency of the situation. 

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Dr. Almalik identified weakening social fabrics as a major cause of mental health issues among youths and emphasized ICESCO's commitment to supporting special programs aimed at addressing this challenge. These programs include providing psychological orientation guides to families and education to enhance resilience against prevailing societal ills.

The celebrations, attended by delegates from African, Arab, and Asian countries, focus on the theme "Youths, Culture, Peace, and Wellbeing." Dr. Almalik highlighted the alignment of AAYC's values with ICESCO's strategic objectives of capacity-building for youth development, leveraging the power of education, science, and technology. 

In addition to mental health concerns, the event addresses the importance of culture, sports, and good health in fostering peace and development among young people. Keynote addresses were delivered by various personalities, including Prof. Roland Lumumba, who emphasized the significance of promoting social cohesion among generations and advocating for peace amidst ongoing conflicts in regions like Palestine and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Dr. Abdulhaddi Lahweej, President of AAYC, stressed the importance of prioritizing peace in youth agendas, highlighting the need to combat poverty and ignorance rather than engaging in inter-community conflicts. He criticized foreign interventions in African conflicts and advocated for investments in education and services beneficial to youth. 

Other speakers, including Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof. Henry Arinaitwe, Gambian Minister for Youths Bakary Y. Badjie, and Ugandan National Commission for UNESCO Secretary General Ms. Rosie Agoi, underscored the significance of quality education in addressing global challenges and commended ICESCO's support for youth initiatives.

The event also provided historical insights into the formation of AAYC and its objectives, as well as plans for youth development. Delegates engaged in discussions, and cultural, and sports activities, reflecting a collective effort to promote peace, culture, and well-being among youth across participating countries.  

Participating countries:  

Uganda, Sudan, Syria, Bahrain, Lesotho, Nigeria, Rwanda, Jordan, South Africa, Malawi, Libya, Cameroon, Gambia, Azerbaijan, Yemen, Burundi, Thailand, Turkiye, Carta, Saudi Arabia, Corte-De Voir and Indonesia among others.