Bahrain to open adolescent health centres
Manama, April 27, 2008
At least three more health centres with special facilities for adolescents are to open next year, it has been revealed.
Currently there is only one 'customised' facility to tackle adolescents' problems, which is at the A'Ali Health Centre. But this is to change under a new drive by the Health Ministry.
'A new strategy to tackle their issues also includes setting up of at least three more such facilities,' Adolescents Health Committee chairman Dr Ali Baqqara told the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
He was speaking after a three-day workshop on 'undesirable' acts by adolescents in Bahrain, held at the Rufaida Building in Salmaniya.
It was attended by experts from schools and officials of health centres who deal with adolescents' problems.
Dr Baqqara said the special centres, staffed by trained professionals, including counsellors, will tackle those adolescents who may be harmful to the community.
'It is all about counselling in the end and we need trained counsellors and psychiatrists to deal with them,' he said.
Adolescents are at such a stage in their lives that they can cause harm without meaning to, said Dr Baqqara.
'For example, it is believed that nearly half the road accidents in Bahrain are caused by rash road behaviour by adolescents. They tend to be rash, reckless and arrogant leading to irresponsible behaviour,' he said.
Dr Baqqara said the committee has been keen to find solutions, along with members of the community and ministry officials.
'It has done a great job over the years in promoting adolescent health in schools and has always received and will continue to receive full support from the ministry,' he said.
Other recommendations include setting up cells within social centres, clubs and other community organisations to counsel the adolescents, while it is also recommended that religious leaders and elders be involved.
'There are more than 150,000 adolescents in government schools, constituting a quarter of the population,' said Dr Baqqara.
'The figure would be much higher if all adolescents in Bahrain are taken into consideration. 'They represent the future and are important to the development of Bahrain.'-TradeArabia News Service