Medic urges teenagers to abstain from sex
By Sheila Ponnie
A medic at Juba Teaching Hospital has advised teenagers to abstain from sexual activities to avoid early pregnancy.
Speaking in an interview, Michael Deng Achier said that young girls and boys are very sensitive when they reach maturity age.
He said many teenagers get pregnant when they are not ready, dashing their hopes of completing school.
“The best prevention method for early pregnancy is to abstain from any sexual activities. If you cannot do that, there is what we call family planning of which most parents are not encouraging because of our culture,” Achier said.
He emphasized that the rampant early pregnancies of girls is a result of culture and belief that is affecting girls to continue with their study.
Mary Atieno, Country Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said that adolescent pregnancy in South Sudan is a grave issue.
Currently 300 girls per thousand live births get pregnant before the age of 18. She said most of their pregnancies get complicated because their bodies are not ready.
“They get complications of fistula, they could die in the process and also just miss out on their potential of going to school and becoming a productive member in the society,” Atieno said.
She explained that UNFPA started training young girls and boys in schools through Comprehensive Sex Education where they are taught their rights and how to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections.
She said they are also trained on protection from pregnancy and Gender Based Violence, as well as how to communicate with the opposite sex.
However, she said the only way for young girls to completely prevent pregnancy is through absenting from sex.
“Now we all know these are adolescents who don’t have information, their bodies are changing, they are experimenting and so they will have sex. So it is important that they get the right information on how to protect themselves,” Atieno said.
She said the government should provide an environment where young girls and boys are able to protect themselves not only from Sexually Transmitted Infections [STIs] but also from HIV and early pregnancy.