Kavango villagers sensitised to sexual health issues

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Memory Mutenda

Nkurenkuru-To sensitise the communities of Kavango West Region on the importance of sexual education among the youth, the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology and the Ministry of Health and Social Services recently conducted Community Education Sessions (CES) in Kapako at Ntara and Musese villages.

About 34 percent of female teenagers in both Kavango East and West regions between the ages 15 and 19 fell pregnant, according to results of a study conducted in 2011 by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on teenage pregnancy in Kavango Region.

Elders and out-of-school youth were assembled under trees and halls and were taught how to use condoms through live demonstrations. The importance of male circumcision and how circumcision is done was also explained.

Discussions on condom-use and preventing pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and family planning stimulated heated debate among the participants, as some argued strongly on the basis of traditional beliefs and religion.

Musese Constituency Councillor Sakeus Kudumo, who took part in the meetings in his constituency, stressed that the information shared with participants will be meaningful once people take it to heart by applying it in their daily lives.

Kudumo said: “Life today is different from years ago; sexual protection prevents people from contracting diseases and infections and allows family planning for you to have the number of kids you can afford to take care of.”

The team includes senior nurses, health assistants and information officers from Kavango East and West regions and conducted sessions at Kapako and Musese constituencies for two days. Around 70 participants, including school-leavers and elders, attended the meeting in Musese, which was held under a tree due to lack of proper facilities.

In general, sexual health education produces social benefits that include improved health, reductions in unwanted pregnancy and reductions in the spread of HIV, and further empowers individuals to make informed decisions about sex, so as to be a productive citizen.

Information, education and communication materials on HIV.AIDS, the use of condoms and the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS, were also disseminated.

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