Let's Talk about sex

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has launched the Let’s Talk! campaign at Mamelodi High School, east of Pretoria.

The campaign is aimed at encouraging learners to make informed decisions when it comes to sex matters to prevent teenage pregnancies.

The campaign is also intended to reach different audiences whose actions have an impact on the prevention and management of early and unintended pregnancies (EUP) for adolescents in the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region.

Motshekga encouraged learners to always be careful when it comes to sex.

“Concentrate on your studies and forget about sex. Falling pregnant while still at school is not a good thing for you and your parents,” Motshekga said.

She advised learners that it is better to have sex after completing their studies so that they are in a better position to take care of themselves and their babies.

Motshekga warned learners that failure to practice safe sex will result in consequences, including contracting STIs.

The Let’s Talk! campaign is a social and behavioural change campaign which seeks to reduce early and unplanned pregnancies across 21 countries in the Eastern and Southern Africa region, which has one of the highest adolescent fertility rates in the world at 102 per 1 000 live births.

The implementation of the Let’s Talk! campaign targets various levels of society including, individual, interpersonal, community, organisational and policy.

At a socio-economic level, the model is important as EUP is more than just an attitude or behavioural issue. It is an issue that is compounded and affected by multiple factors including policies, cultural practices and the health and education systems.

According to the Basic Education Department, the campaign is driven by multiple factors that include poverty, lack of information and access to reproductive health services, cultural norms, peer pressure and sexual coercion and abuse.

Keitumetse Serame, a Grade 10 learner at Mamelodi High School, told SAnews that she is happy that the Minister came to their school to talk to them about sex.

“Most of us lack knowledge about sex matters and as a result, we end up falling pregnant while still at school and we end up dropping out of school,” Keitumetse said.

Another learner, Lerato Muedi, said teenage pregnancy has destroyed the future of many girls as they do not return to school after giving birth.

According to research, new HIV infections are on the decline across the region. However, these reductions remain insufficient. A significant number of young people, predominantly adolescent girls and young women, are still becoming newly infected. – SAnews.gov.za