How Can Sex Education in Africa Reduce the Spread of STDs?

Did you know that barely 34% of the younger population is familiar with HIV transmission and prevention? With over 68% of HIV cases living in the sub-Saharan African region, it’s important now more than ever to keep investing in sex education in African schools. 

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Children have to be fully acquainted with the importance of avoiding STDs and AIDS-related diseases if they are to live a healthy life. 

The question is, why is sexual education such a crucial program for the younger generation in Africa? How is it going to change their lives? We’ve decided to analyze all the statistical research on sex education in Africa for reducing STDs. 

Sex Education in African Schools 

According to UNESCO, many girls in rural African communities have no idea why they are menstruating nor how they could lead safe and productive lives. 

When the Department of Basic Education in South Africa stated they would expand their Comprehensive Sexuality Education in 2019, plenty of young girls finally got the chance to learn about their bodies. They had the material and opportunities to get a glimpse of the grown-up world. 

However, there is more to this program than it meets the eye. Girls learned about the significance of consent, how their bodies belong to them, and a way to recognize inappropriate behavior that might endanger them sexually. 

Why Do Children in Africa Need Sex Education?

A huge number of children in this region, particularly in rural communities, receive little to no information about sex and relationship. Instead, they make a sudden transition from childhood to adulthood. 

Lack of education has left the younger population vulnerable to sexual exploitation and dangerous behaviors. 

As a result, they’ve been unable to cope with their sexuality or manage STDs, unintended pregnancies, and other health risks. Lack of information and inadequate knowledge has left a huge mark on the African population. 

In fact, over 3.5 million cases of syphilis, 15 million of chlamydia, 16 million gonorrhea, and 30 million of trichomoniasis are all registered in Africa, published the National Library of Medicine. 

How Can Sex Education Help?

The first STD management strategy always starts with knowledge. With the right skills, information, and coping mechanism, the younger population will learn to be fully responsible for their choices and help others live a healthier life. 

With programs such as these, children get to learn about consent, abuse, violence, how to respect values and human rights. Not only will this knowledge empower them, but it will also help them reduce the transmission of STDs and other diseases. 

It’s true that implementing such changes in African communities will be a difficult task. But, it is possible to change the cultural norms and create a healthier environment for the population to grow. 

References

https://en.unesco.org/news/why-comprehensive-sexuality-education-important

https://www.avert.org/global-hiv-and-aids-statistics

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/sex-education-south-african-schools/

https://en.unesco.org/news/why-comprehensive-sexuality-education-important

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12348788/

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