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Educators honoured for efforts to reduce HIV infections, prevent teen pregnancy

By LEANDRA ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

lrolle@tribunemedia.net

MORE than 90 educators across the country were honoured on Friday for their efforts to reduce HIV infections among adolescents and prevent teen pregnancy.

The group of teachers were presented with awards during a ceremony at the Ministry of Education’s Learning Resources Unit in recognition of their involvement with the Focus on Youth Research Programme.

Focus on Youth (FOY) is an evidence-based training programme that promotes effective decision-making geared towards HIV and STI prevention.

In her address to those being honoured Friday, Dr Nikkiah Forbes, director of the National HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Programme at the Ministry of Health, spoke about the programme’s importance.

She called it an essential tool in ensuring “that adolescents have the skills to prevent HIV/AIDS, STI and unwanted pregnancies” and commended the teachers for their hard work.

“The Bahamas has shown steady progress towards reaching the global targets on HIV/AIDS so I’m happy to share that new HIV infections have been reduced by 63 per cent in the years 2012 to 2021,” she said, “and AIDS-related deaths have also decreased by 41 per cent in that same time period so the work you’re all doing is very impactful. It’s making a huge difference.

“The challenge, however, is to keep HIV prevention at the top of our agenda.”

She said teenagers and young adults are still at risk, noting that youngsters comprised about 24 per cent of new HIV infections in 2021.

“It is vital that programmes like Focus of Youth remain an integral component of the school system, strategically introduced to maximize the greatest degree of protections for both children and parents,” Dr Forbes added.

“In the words of Michael Sidibe, the UNAIDS’ executive director, several years ago he called for a prevention revolution where we all commit to combating public hypocrisy on sexual matters.

“We must talk about the sensitive issues, build AIDS competencies and systematically promote sexual and reproductive health and rights for all, including our sexually active teenagers.

“Let us prevent HIV, prevent STIs, prevent unplanned pregnancies in teen mothers by ensuring that a focus on youth curriculum is sustained within the schools and wider communities.”

Health and Wellness Minister Dr Michael Darville, who was also present at Friday's ceremony, thanked the teachers for assisting in the country's fight against HIV/AIDS.

"I salute the steadfast dedication of our teachers, 100 strong who are a part of this programme and educating our youth on lifestyle changes and to be responsible citizens in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas," he said.

Comments

bahamianson 3 months ago

It is common sense, it isnt ingenuity. Teens have the highest sex drive and the lowest sexual IQ when it comes to raging hormones. Adults/ parents, teachers and others need to speak to them , so they can control their hormones. Why are we honoring people for something they should be doing?

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ExposedU2C 3 months ago

The failed policies of successive corrupt governments since the 1970s have created way too many dysfunctional families in our society. These are families living well below the poverty line that are struggling to survive and have no capability of properly raising children. In fact, many of these impoverished families are a breeding ground for children destined to become violent criminals who breed even more violent criminals.

Since the 1970s our corrupt political ruling class have been much too busy greatly enriching themselves, their own family members and their favoured cronies, with absolutely no concern about the growing impact of illegal immigration, poverty and crime on our decaying society. Truly sad.

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truetruebahamian 3 months ago

Abortion should be allowed and available as is now constitutionally recognised for all women in France. Religion has nothing to do with it - sense, safety and better futures result from this ability to choose.

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LastManStanding 3 months ago

Abortion has not led to any better outcomes among the problem demographics in America where access is pretty much unrestricted despite whatever hubbub the media might make. Abortion is ultimately irrelevant in the grand scheme of things when you are dealing with a population that has an average IQ lower than room temperature and is too stupid to realize that having a gorillian children and not being able to feed even one is a bad idea. There is a much bigger elephant in the room that needs to be addressed, but a lot are uncomfortable with acknowledging reality.

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hrysippus 3 months ago

Truebluebahamian, I with you this. When women are forced to birth an unwanted, unloved child that they do not have the resources to nurture, and the state is also able to provide necessary assistance to the mother and child, then it should not be unexpected that the country has some dysfunctional callous people who respect neither other people or the rule of law.

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