The leadership of the Upper West Regional branch of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) has organised a forum to educate Senior High School (SHS) students on the dangers of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).
The programme was part of the 2019 GRNMA weeklong public sensitisation activities, which was under the theme: “Health for All: Nurses and Midwives, a Voice to Lead”.
It sought to create awareness and empower young men and women, particularly targeting SHS students, to avoid contracting sexually transmitted diseases.
The activities were organised in collaboration with the Wa Municipal Health Directorate aimed at raising public awareness on disease prevention in various communities and institutions.
Symptoms of STIs discussed included discharge of fluid from sexual organs, loss of weight, painful urination, skin rashes and development of sores near the mouth, anus and vagina as well as swelling penis or vulva.
Bacteria, which causes diseases like gonorrhoea, syphilis and chlamydia with virus causing diseases like human papilloma virus, genital herpes and HIV were also discussed.
Again the students were introduced to ways of being infected that included unprotected sex, having multiple sexual partners, rape and sharing needles as well as mother to infant transmission.
Mr Evans Ibn Samba, the Assistant Regional Secretary of GRNMA, said even though STIs were captured in the school curricula, the sensitisation would give students practical knowledge on those infections and how to prevent being infected.
He said most students reported at various hospitals and health facilities across the Region with STIs and, therefore, the need to carry out the public health education to sensitise them.
He advised female students against the use of soap and other detergents for washing the inner parts of the vagina to prevent chemical infections.
Ms Victoria Dohoro Dangori, the GRNMA Regional Chairperson, urged students to avoid premarital sex and focus on their studies to better develop their careers to realize their dreams.
She told the students to take advantage of the learning materials at their disposal to pursue their academic goals, warning that premarital sex would jeopardise their careers.
As part of the celebration, the Association screened people for typhoid fever, HIV/AIDS, eye infections, hepatitis and diabetes.