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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

MY VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE SO FAR...Patricia Nimoh

 Hello,

Over the last 11 weeks we have visited various communities around Tamale specifically West Mamprusi District and Savelugu Nanton District for our baseline research. Our project is on safe choices where the members of the communities especially the youths are sensitized on sexual health and relationship education. We educate effectively and thoroughly on Puberty, Contraception, Sexually Transmitted Infections and the issue of consent. We have visited communities such as Nayorku, Nanton-Kurugu, Zokuga and Langa to conduct baseline research in order to assess the current level of knowledge on sexual health and relationship education. This research would help our team to discover the communities most in need of sensitization. Our last baseline trip was conducted
in week seven on 3rd November, 2015 in Gbimsi a community in the West Mamprusi District.
At Nayorku  for Baseline  research -West Mamprusi District 

From my observation in these communities on our baseline research, most of them (both young and old) were unaware of other methods of contraception and ways to prevent STIs. The research carried out was a success to me as it helped us to uncover the needs of these communities relating to some sexual health issues. Having access to health is a basic human right and this includes sexual and reproductive health. To ensure these rights, people must be educated on their reproductive health and rights as well as their sexual health and rights. All persons irrespective of their age and gender must be treated according to their needs. Good sexual and reproductive health services promote public health and improve quality of life. They can reduce the risk of disability, diseases or death from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV and AIDS, as well as unwanted pregnancies and harmful traditional practices such as female genital mutilation.

At Nonton Kurugu Community -Baseline Survey. Savelugu Municipality
Despite these gains, most people in these communities, especially adolescents, have little or no knowledge on sexual and reproductive health which makes them vulnerable to sexual abuse, unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. There has been a lot of stigma discussing issues related to sexual and reproductive health due to religious and moral reasons in these communities especially Langa. Conversations on sexual matters may be seen as rude and impolite so many young people find it difficult to talk about sexual matters openly and freely, even when they need urgent information and help to make informed decisions about their sexual health.

I have been eager throughout my time on the programme to go and make an impact in the lives of these vulnerable ones.
As knowledge is power don’t be left out. Be in my shoes, volunteer with ICS; challenge yourself to change the world.

Thanks guys for reading this blog

Posted by Patricia.