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20.03.2007 General News

Kassena Nankana teens free of STDs

By : GNA

Majority of young people under 19 years in the Kassena Nankana District are not sexually active and as such have no sexually transmitted diseases, research findings of the Navrongo Health Research Centre (NHRC) has shown.

The research in its pilot stage was done in 2002 in two communities, Naaga and Nakong among people aged between 10 and 24 years, and showed that many adolescents were not well informed about Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) issues.

The research was aimed at developing and implementing a package of interventions that will provide accurate and reliable information, skills and services to rural adolescents and also evaluate the impact of interventions on adolescent sexual behaviour and reproductive health.

Areas that were examined include knowledge of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) including HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health attitudes, condom use and the incidence of pregnancy.

The research carried out by a team of research officers led by Dr. Cornelius Debpuur said the young people needed reliable and accurate information on SRH and encouragement to remain sexually inactive.

They also had to be supported to avoid risky sexual behaviours, it said.

A second related survey carried out in 2005 among 6,540 students from 41 Junior Secondary Schools in the district showed that the pupils had more knowledge of HIV/AIDS than on matters such as pregnancy and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Their knowledge on HIV/AIDS ranged from 88 per cent among JSS one pupils to 94 per cent among JSS three pupils.

Knowledge about gonorrhoea was 56 per cent among JSS One pupils and 75 per cent among JSS Three pupils, whiles with syphilis, 39 per cent from primary schools and 57 per cent from JSS had knowledge of it.

The study carried out to monitor and evaluate the School-based intervention of adolescent sexual and reproductive health, was to find out the current knowledge of pupils on SRH, and factors that put adolescents at risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy.

The pupils consisted of 50 per cent male and 50 per cent female aged between 15 and 19 years of age were given questionnaires to answer.

Source: GNA