A hundred young people representing different church denominations from the villages of Lepuia’i, Faleu, Apai, Salua in Manono Tai recently participated in a sexual and reproductive health seminar.
The sexual and reproductive health unit within the Ministry of Health (M.O.H.) ran the training at the Faleu, Manono Tai - Methodist hall in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (U.N.F.P.A.).
The Ministry of Health’s National Sexual Reproductive Health principal officer, Perive Lelevaga, said involving youth in advocacy programs on reproductive health and sexual violence is important.
“The Ministry of Health also believes that the involvement of young people in the process of reproductive health care as well as understanding the consequences of sexual violence and its legal implications is very important,” she said.
The objective of the seminar is to improve knowledge on reproductive health care among the Samoan youth population, as well as create awareness on youth-friendly services and sexual and reproductive health issues including gender-based violence and sexual violence.
Officials from the Ministry of Police, Tologata Misieliota Tamaleaoa and Tupai Li’o Faataumalama Auva’a, did presentations on gender-based violence and sexual violence and their legal implications. While a representative from Samoa Family Health, Alapati Anoi’a, spoke on sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS.
While the presentations by the M.O.H. officials focused on breast feeding and nutrition, alcohol and drugs related and the benefits of physical activity, the team also touched on teenage pregnancy.
The objective of the inter-agency seminar is to reduce the overall prevalence of sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS, decrease maternal mortality rates, decrease teenage pregnancy, increase contraceptive prevalence rates and reduce various forms of gender based violence (including sexual violence) across all age groups.