By Frederick Philander
A journal aimed at educating school-going youths as well as adults on their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS infections will be launched this morning at the Hage Geingob School by the National Social Marketing Programme (NaSoMa).
According to a press release, this organization was established in 2000 in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Services.
The current programme activities are funded by the Federal Republic of Germany through KfW and the Namibian Global Fund Programme.
“NaSoMa’s key objective is to improve access to quality male and female condoms at affordable prices through an effective and responsive service delivery. A further aim is to disseminate information and educate target groups with relevant information, and to prevent HIV transmission through its Behavioral Change Communication (BCC) strategy,” the executive director of the organization, H. Gowaseb said in the statement.
In implementing its Behaviour Change Communication strategy, NaSoMa uses a risk-reduction approach to target vulnerable groups who are at high risk of HIV infection and transmission.
“These groups include commercial sex workers (CSWs), mobile workers as well as in- and out-of-school youth. The youth journal has been developed for in-school youth collectively with contributions from the National Youth Council (NYC) and selected schools across the country,” he said.
The main objectives of the journal are to:
– Enable youth to identify and understand their vulnerability to STI’s, including HIV/AIDS infection;
– Create dialogue on reproductive health issues, complementing life skills activities at schools;
– Reinforce messages around positive behaviour change.
“The journal is targeting both urban and rural school learners in all 13 regions of the country, and will be distributed at no cost. It provides an opportunity for youth to learn more on making informed decisions about sex, relationships, peer pressure, alcohol and drugs, causes of STI’s, including HIV/AIDS amongst young people, and other health related matters.
“Youth have the right to be involved and their valuable contributions make programmes relevant and sustainable. It further allows them to build confidence and gain problem solving skills which will ultimately allow them to survive high-risk situations,” he concluded.