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Ministry of Health has confirmed 21 cases of HIV AIDS in Tonga.

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa ,16/07/2018

The Ministry of Health has confirmed 21 cases of HIV AIDS in Tonga.

This was revealed following a 5day workshop hosted by the Tonga Family Health Association last week aiming to help reduce the spread of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STI’s).

The workshop coordinator – Cathy Mafi says, the workshop is important because it helps raised awareness of how STIs spread.

The Acting CEO of the Ministry of Internal Affairs – ‘Onetoto ‘Anisi says, the training is important to raise awareness to the youth in the country.

“Today we have been called to gather here to mark a milestone in which we have been call to become a peer educator to tackle the sexual reproductive health. Issues that affect the largest population of Tonga which happens to be youth. Youth is an important stage of human life span which crucial development processes occur. Peer education is currently considered as a health promotion strategy in adolescence. Peer education is defined as a system of delivering knowledge that improves social learning and provide psycho-social support. As we celebrate our achievement today, let us also remind concern of the road that still lies ahead. I cannot emphasize enough the critical role that you young women and young men play as key drivers of implementing, monitoring and evaluating the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

He emphasized the importance of cooperation between the related stakeholders to help prevent people from being contracted by these virus.

 “I’m glad that this forum ensure that no one left behind. But reaching out to the most at-risk young people in order for them to access youth-related services and to gain knowledge from trusted peers and make inform choices to safeguard their health. Government, decision-makers, the UNFPA who’s funded this program – all of us are accountable for addressing this structural barriers which affect the health of young people here in Tonga. As the social determinacy of health on young people continue to change, young women and young men are called to take a stand and shape how this stand translate or transform over the next 13 years by 2030. 0857 OUT

Meanwhile, a participant – Selina Kimana elaborates what she had learnt from the program.

“In the beginning of the training, I’ve learned a lot and I’ve learned so much. Starting from sex education, reproductive health, adolescence development, gender equality, how to communicate as a peer educator, using of contraceptives, maintain your self-esteem, and up to sexually transmitted infection and teenage pregnancy. With these, it has challenged me as a youth that I have a role and responsibility to tell the youth in my age about sexual health, the contraceptives and its importance, we should teach but not to be caught up with it,” she said.

About 28 certificates were presented to the participants from Talitha Project, Queen Salote school of nursing, representatives from Haapai and Eua.

Attending the program was the town district of Kolomotu’a – Sio Tuiano, director of the association – Tipaleli Hoponoa and other invited guests.

© Radio and Television Tonga News