n Commonwealth Youth and Development - Botswana youth and health-related risks : reflections on some intervention strategies




This paper explores the theme of health-related risks among the youth in Botswana. It examines a number of intervention strategies geared toward addressing the problems associated with these risks. The paper notes that Botswana has made considerable progress in the provision of social services, including services that aim to diminish health-related risks among the youth. The dimensions of these interventions have ranged from government policy initiatives to school-based programmes, deliberate development of youth action plans, the involvement of tertiary institutions, the activities of non-governmental organisations and the intervention of faith-based organisations. Despite these interventions, some challenges still exist. For some of the organisations, these challenges include a lack of capacity and shortage of funds. In tertiary institutions, the transitory nature of students' residence, the under-utilisation of services and human resource constraints are problematic. Adolescents remain exposed to sexually-transmitted diseases, and too little attention is given to youth with disabilities. The paper suggests that there is a need to employ social workers in schools, create greater awareness in tertiary institutions, engage in further research and documentation on the subject, and ensure an aggressive pursuit of the training of youth officers.


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