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Table of Contents   
LETTER TO THE EDITOR  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 1394-1395
Mobilizing youth population to spread peace in the conflict-affected regions of Central Africa


Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

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Date of Web Publication6-Nov-2017
 

How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Mobilizing youth population to spread peace in the conflict-affected regions of Central Africa. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:1394-5

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Mobilizing youth population to spread peace in the conflict-affected regions of Central Africa. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Dec 9];10:1394-5. Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/5/1394/196755


Dear Editor,

The Central African region is witnessing the worst possible time over the last three years, and the lives of people living in the region has been scarred by constant bloodshed.[1] The region is facing numerous challenges in different dimensions, such as poor governance, armed conflicts, extreme violence, disruption of the basic welfare services, no opportunities for education or employment, extensive damage to the health care facilities or different aspects of the health sector, increase in the incidence of various infectious and lifestyle diseases, catastrophic expenditure by families on illnesses and medications in absence of financial support from the government, looting, burning of villages in totality, violation of human rights, rising rates of violence against women, trafficking, slavery, forced recruitment, displacement of millions of people, and deaths of thousands of innocent people, including personnel from the health sector.[2],[3],[4]

In addition to the above mentioned challenges, the region is affected by many practical difficulties as well. Aclear impact on the quality of life of people have been observed, with the human development index being worst in these affected nations from Central Africa in comparison to the rest of the world.[1],[2] In today's date, even if the situation has not improved to a great extent, a sort of fragile stability is coming into the region due to the humanitarian assistance provided by the international relief agencies.[1],[3]

Infact, in an attempt to resolve the existing problems, the welfare agencies have started to target the nation's youth population through a peer education strategy to motivate them to not be a part of any form of violence and ways to stay healthy.[1] Youth people have been targeted as often they are the first victims of violence, and hence a change in their behavior is the need of the hour, so that an environment of peace persists instead of war.[1] All these youth people have been systematically trained in a collaborative approach of United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA) and national ministry.[1] This strategy is more of an awareness-creating approach, which is executed through the peers who share their experiences and tries to build confidence among other youths.[1]

A wide range of areas have been targeted such as information about their sexual and reproductive health, human rights, ways to avoid unintended pregnancies or sexually transmitted infections (STIs), drug use, and the ways to adopt healthy lifestyles.[1],[2],[3]

Even though, this initiative initially faced many challenges and it was quite difficult to attract an audience, but after crossing the initial period of resistance, their acceptance has enormously increased.[1]

These youth peer educators have been approached often to spread awareness among schools and religious groups to share their advice and practical experiences.[1] In addition, the special attention has been given to the vulnerable young people who have lost their parents or are at high potential risk of being exposed to abuse or violation of their rights.[1],[4] The success of this initiative has allowed the UNFPA to extend similar initiative across different cities of the nation.[1]

To conclude, in order to restore their lives to near normal like to go to school, get a job or start a family, the most essential thing is to ensure peace in the region. The youths of the region have realized its importance and the current initiative is helping in creating awareness among the vulnerable population.

Acknowledgment

SRS contributed in the conception or design of the work, drafting of the work, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

PSS contributed in the literature review, revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

JR contributed in revising the draft, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
   References Top

1.
UNFPA. Amid war devastation, Central African youth become agents of peace; 2016. Available from: http://www.unfpa.org/news/amid-war-devastation-central-african-youth-become-agents-peace. [Last accessed on 2016 July 9].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Wako E, Elliott L, De Jesus S, Zotti ME, Swahn MH, Beltrami J. Conflict, displacement, and IPV: Findings from two Congolese refugee camps in Rwanda. Violence Against Women 2015;21:1087-101.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]    
3.
Kidman R, Palermo T, Bertrand J. Intimate partner violence, modern contraceptive use and conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Soc Sci Med 2015;133:2-10.  Back to cited text no. 3
[PUBMED]    
4.
Gerstl S, Sauter J, Kasanda J, Kinzelbach A. Who can afford health care? Evaluating the socio-economic conditions and the ability to contribute to health care in a post-conflict area in DR Congo. PLoS One 2013;8:e77382.  Back to cited text no. 4
[PUBMED]    

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Correspondence Address:
Saurabh R Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur, Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.196755

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