Peer Educators’ Refresher Training on SRH/ HIV (FP, Condoms & STI’s)
In a bid to ensure young people are equal partners at putting the provision of youth-friendly services to their peers’ minds, the Ministry of Health through UNFPA trained Peer Educators from AMICAAL, Eswatini Church Forum, SAFAIDS, Population Services International and FLAS on Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) in a training held at FLAS Headquarters in Manzini.
Meeting objectives were to help facilitators understand their role, acquire information on SRH, know and understand methods of Family Planning. Finally, yet important, to assist them to understand the benefits of being Peer Educators especially in these times where young people’s minds are full of myths and misconceptions when it comes to issues surrounding SRH.
On the first day, emphasis was on the importance of Family Planning methods available and approved in the Kingdom of Eswatini. At an individual level, family planning benefits one in keeping the body in shape, being mentally stable and progressing in life unlike when you have a child who wants all the money leaving you stressed, bitter and depressed. In families, it helps reduce poverty and family disputes. Family planning is essential in the development of infrastructure in the country, reduction in children dependent on government, child-headed families, crime rates, unemployment as well as fewer appraisals.
Family planning methods discussed were the loop, injectable, implants and the pill, which helped in eliminating unwanted/ unplanned pregnancies. These methods are safe to use as the World Health Organization approved them then the Eswatini government adopted them. However, young people are encouraged to abstain from sexual activities. On the other hand, if it happens they do then they should use the condom as it gives dual protection in terms of preventing pregnancy, STIs and HIV.
‘The Ministry noticed with great concern on the alarming number of teenage pregnancy and increase in HIV/STIs infections meaning Emaswati are not knowledgeable about the correct use of condoms, types and where they can access them’, said Ms. Tamari during her presentation on the CONDOMIZE campaign. The campaign is one-way destigmatizing condoms, encourage access to quality condoms and enhancing knowledge on them. Condoms come in different sizes, colours, flavours and there are enhanced lubricants to make sexual intercourse interesting using a condom. In her closing remarks, she said, ‘Don’t Compromise. No condom no sex’!