Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS education taken to hinterlandFriday, August 14, 2009 – 9:52 am
Source: Guyana Chronicle
The Ministry of Amerindian Affairs, in a collaborative effort with the Ministry of Education, has held a two-day workshop in the Kamarang, Upper Mazaruni, Region 7, with multipurpose objectives.
These objectives included providing participants with the skills and knowledge to effectively plan Sexual and Reproductive Health lessons
Minister of Amerindian Affairs Pauline Sukhai, speaking at the opening of the workshop, noted that it presented an opportunity to meet the teachers and interact with them. She pointed out that the Ministry has a very active focal point person and activities in the Amerindian villages, with the aim of narrowing down and targeting high-risk villages including Kamarang, due to the activities in its mining and transient areas.
Minister Sukhai noted that villagers have a tendency to gravitate towards visitors and this can put the entire village at risk. The Ministry of Amerindian Affairs is one of the first ministries that has included sexual reproductive health, drug abuse, domestic violence and HIV/AIDS in its package to hinterland communities.
General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party Donald Ramotar, in his address to the teachers, said it was important to have such workshops, noting that teachers are equipped to inform the people about such issues.
He pointed that people in rural areas need to be warned about strangers who may visit their villages since they can bring in the disease.
Ramotar noted that the incidence of HIV/AIDS is slowing down as people become more aware of it. He said the best way of dealing with such diseases is to have a system of prevention and that people must first be convinced before they can convince others; and to achieve this there is the need for them to become educated.
Autry Haynes, Focal Point person, Ministry of Amerindian Affairs, along with Janell Sweatham, Focal Point person, Ministry of Education, and Ruthel Spencer, Lecturer at the Cyril Potter College of Education, whose main focus is the integration of these issues into the curriculum, are the persons who conducted the workshop with the hinterland teachers.