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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Shimoni Secondary get another dose of STI education

This week’s life skills at Shimoni Secondary revolved around the Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI). This seemed like an obvious topic initially that they hear most of the time, but alas! There was more to their surprise that they did not know about. The presentation started with showing them a graphic movie on the effects of STIs on the genitals and other body parts that could be affected e.g. the eyes and effects on new born babies. The look on the faces of the students while watching the movie was enough to let us know it was serious stuff going on in the movie, nothing to joke about. On the contrary, it was a bit of comic to some of us watching them because they really made funny faces and giggles to cover their anxiety. Some of them could not take in the whole episode and had to walk out for a breather. The picture below will definitely give you a clue of what I am talking about.

The STI video is too much for some students to handle
From watching their reactions, it was enough to conclude that most people know little about the adverse effects of STI’s yet there are so many cases of it. Statistics show that there are approximately 19 million new infections of STI’s each year. Half of them among people ages 15 to 24 years. This presented a great moment to bring out the dangers of it to them, since they are within the mostly affected age bracket and also so that they take the necessary precautions and be a source of knowledge to the ignorant among the general public.

The second part of the presentation was taken over by Mr. Kopa, who took the chance to ask them to explain what they had seen, in the view of trying to explain the meaning of STI’s at length, how they are contracted, whether they do occur and where they occur. This was a really fun session. Amidst fear, excitement and anxiety, they really were observant and attentive. They could clearly explain what they had seen but had some jumbled up ideas about STI’s which were ironed out for them. Miss Jordan built on Kopa’s presentation by explaining the various types of STI’s categorized based on the bugs causing them. She tackled the Bacterial STI’s which include; Chlamydia, Syphilis and Gonorrhea, and the parasitic STI’s which include; Pubic lice, Scabies and Tich. Miss Violet concluded the types of STI’s by handling the Viral STI’s which include; Hepatitis B, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and HIV. The fungal STI’s touched on in the presentation included the yeast infections.

The presentation could not be completed without touching on the prevention and treatment measures for the STI’s. The general preventive measures reached at inclusive of the students’ contribution include; knowing one’s partner’s status, sticking to one partner, using a condom when having sex with someone who's status you do not know and avoiding rough sex that can break that the condom. This was narrowed to the ABC acronym which stands for A = Abstinence, B = Being faithful C = Condom use. The treatment emphasized on is seeking medical advise from a doctor that one trusts and sticking to medication once diagnosed since most of the infections are symptom-less and can be ignored.

Generally it was an awesome presentation and the students were satisfied with the knowledge they had gained at the end of the lesson. This somehow gave us a sense of satisfaction since a goal had been achieved and STI’s had been prevented by 2%.

Mercy - National Kenyan Scholar with GVI