Workshop on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health launched in Réduit

Workshop on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health launched in Réduit
Workshop on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health launched in Réduit

Africa-Press – Mauritius. A one-day workshop on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health, organised in the context of World Sexual Health Day, was launched, on 09 September 2023, at the Octave Wiehe Auditorium in Réduit.

The Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Kailesh Kumar Singh Jagutpal; the World Health Organization Representative in Mauritius, Dr Anne Marie Ancia; and other eminent personalities were present on the occasion.

In his address, Minister Jagutpal indicated that it is vital that future generations be protected from the dangers and risks associated with unprotected sexual activity as we navigate through the complexities of the modern world.

He further recalled that World Sexual Health Day was celebrated on 04 September 2023 and the theme chosen this year is “Consent”. In addition, the Minister highlighted that adolescence is a transition from childhood to adulthood, a phase where one feels ready to become independent and make decisions.

“It is thus important to make the right choice of life, in particular when it comes to sexuality, smoking, alcohol, and drugs, among others,” he stated.

Studies, Dr Jagutpal remarked, have demonstrated that sexually transmitted infection rates are on the rise and early pregnancies are still being recorded under the age of 18.

Statistics, he outlined, have shown that in 2022, 826 cases of early pregnancy were recorded, out of which 763 cases were from teenagers of 16 years and above, while for the period of January to June 2023, 383 cases of early pregnancy among teenagers aged 16 to 19 years were recorded.

On this note, the Health Minister underlined that the Government and his Ministry are moving forward with measures such as the Sexual and Reproductive Health Action Plan which comprises recommendations to address the sexual health of children, adolescents and young people so as to cater for the health of teenagers.

Furthermore, he outlined that Government is doing its best to fight against the drug scourge through the National Campaign Against Drugs entitled ‘Unis contre la drogue’, an initiative of the Prime Minister’s Office which involves the personal commitment of the Prime Minister, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth.

As regards the workshop, Dr Jagutpal underscored that some 200 teenagers were brought together to enable them to gain the required information about sexual and reproductive health, including early pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, sexual harassment, and cybersexual harassment.

The Minister stressed that, in addition to addressing the immediate needs of adolescents, it is important to work towards fostering an environment that supports their emotional well-being. This, according to him, involves promoting healthy relationships based on mutual respect, consent, and communication.

“Parents and caregivers play a pivotal role in shaping the attitudes and behaviours of young individuals, and they must be equipped with the knowledge and skills to have meaningful conversations about sexuality and relationships,” he added.

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