By: Widiyasri Lodu, EMpower Extra Curricular Facilitator
Reproductive health education and peer counselling plays a crucial role in supporting adolescent children’s well-being. A monthly discussion event organized by EBPP EMpower Team, featuring Kisara Bali and Puskesmas (Community Health Centre) Kubu II as guest speakers, was attended by the junior and senior high students of EBPP Bunga, Cegi and Pengalusan Schools. The event highlighted essential aspects of adolescent development.
Kisara addressed the consequences of ignoring reproductive health education, which encompassed issues such as child marriage, early sexual activity, and the associated risks of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and early pregnancies. The emphasis was placed on the fact that teenagers are not immune to STDs, including HIV, herpes, gonorrhoea, and syphilis, highlighting the critical need for comprehensive education and awareness.
Furthermore, Kisara introduced the concept of peer counselling, with an emphasis on communication skills in counselling. They highlighted the value of peer counselling among friends, as adolescents often find solace and support in their peers. An interactive activity allowed students to share their experiences as counsellors for their friends, fostering empathy, support, and open communication.
Additionally, the students learned about detecting and preventing cervical cancer from the staff and doctors from Puskesmas Kubu II. They emphasized early detection through regular check-ups and screenings and highlighted the importance of vigilance among all women, including teenagers regarding cervical cancer.
In conclusion, comprehensive reproductive health education and peer counselling empowers adolescents to make informed decisions about their reproductive health and overall well-being. The event demonstrated the significance of these initiatives in promoting awareness and providing support, ensuring a healthier and brighter future for young individuals.