Thirty-three youths from Real, Infanta and Gen. Nakar municipalities in Quezon province were trained on Adolescent Reproductive Health (ARH). The training is aimed at building the capacity of selected youths on ARH to become peer facilitators. It ran for seven days from May 2-8, 2012 at Sta. Monica Beach Resort, Brgy. Boboin, Infanta, Quezon.
During the training, the participants were introduced to ARH concepts and principles such as understanding the physical, psychological and emotional changes that occur in female and male, sexuality and health including sexually transmitted infections, boy-girl relationships, understanding oneself and behavior change and identifying youth with high and low risk.
Adolescence is a time for sexual exploration and expression, which may result to premature pregnancy and childbirth and proliferation of sexually transmitted infections such as HIV/AIDS. Thus, it is very important that at this stage the youths are provided with proper guidance and correct information concerning reproductive health. Peer facilitation is viewed as one of the effective mechanisms and processes to influence the youths on ARH and extend assistance to those who may be at risk or are already suffering from the negative consequences brought about by lack of correct information and guidance. It is believed that an adolescent tends to be more open to person at her/his age than to someone older like parents.
It is expected that the trained youth peer educators can contribute to address the issues associated to ARH. In 2011, the Infanta Municipal Health Office recorded a total of 185 births with ages of mothers ranging from 15 to 19 years old.
Early pregnancy and childbirth lead to increased risks of maternal and neonatal mortality and put an end to all educational development and opportunities for children according to Unicef’s State of the World’s Children 2006 report.
The training was participated in by student-leaders from secondary and tertiary public and private schools in Infanta, Sangguniang Kabataan, Out-of-School Youth and representatives of youth organizations.