The research findings dissemination exercise on Comprehensive Health Education (CHE) under the project titled: Strengthening Access to Quality Comprehensive Health Education in The Gambia wrapped up on Friday.
Strengthening Access to Quality Comprehensive Health Education in The Gambia is an implementation research project conducted by the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) with funding from International Development Research Center (IDRC). The project is designed to enlighten and educate in-and-out of school students on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH).
On the just concluded research findings dissemination exercise, forty-three schools were visited by the research team led by Mrs Phebian Ina Grant-Sagnia, principal investigator of the project in region one.
In her presentation at various visited Upper Basic and Senior Secondary Schools, Mrs Phebian Ina Grant-Sagnia explained that Comprehensive Health Education encompasses all aspects of a young person's life which includes but not limited to skills, attitudes, and practices of children and youth that are conducive to their good health and that promote wellness, health maintenance and disease prevention.
She explained that adolescents have various needs with respect to sexual development and have a need to receive help in understanding their own changes of body and behavior and how to cope with these not only at the time but also how to integrate them into a mature personality in the future.
The Principal Investigator emphasised that CHE would provide students with life skills with which they can handle crisis situations.
"If they are well informed, they will become aware of their body and its functioning and be able to protect themselves from sexual abuse."
Among other discussed topics under the ASRH included menstruation and other natural changes in the body, early sexual debut, teenage and unwanted pregnancies, prevention of pregnancy, abstinence, STIs, misinformation about sex and inadequate or lack of information about sexual and reproductive health between children and parents.