On Matters Premarital Sex

Medicine is all about facts and what better proves our days at the hospital than photos! Haha…so here are a few more pictures of us at the hospital.

The amazing staff of Mzumbe health centre
Having breakfast at the students’ IDM cafeteria before work. They had the best samosas I’ve ever tasted!
A selfie is always in order 🙂

While at the hospital, we were alarmed at the large number of cases of teen pregnancies. It was heart breaking to sit in and listen to a father filled with grief, as he explained what led him to bring his teenage daughter to the hospital. He had just come from reporting the case at the police station and needed us to fill in the P3 forms and carry out a pregnancy test. Somehow, along the way I figured that although the father had reported the case to the police as rape, it was actually a consentual act between her and her schoolmate at their boarding school. But to protect his daughter, he reported it as so. The doctor roped me into the conversation to give my advice, seeing as the young girl would have to drop out of school, following regulations that the Tanzanian government had just instated concerning pregnant girls in schools. We gave both the parents and the young girl counselling but it sure did leave me thinking about matters abstinence and sexual purity, even in the presence of pressures of peers and raging hormones.

This led us to then carry out a training at a local high school concerning SDG 3: Good Health& well-being(with a focus on Reproductive health), SDG 13: Climate action and SDG 15: Life on land. It was in partnership with the Environmental club at SUA University, Morogoro. Language barrier was quite interesting as Kiswahili is the national language. Our Taiwanese friends are the ones who had a hard time, though we translated a lot for them. Though I too was nervous at first because it has been a while since I translated some words, especially medical ones, to Kiswahili.

Jason actually learnt so much Kiswahili on this trip he could easily hold a brief conversation
Makini teaching on the reproductive system
Laura and Maggie teaching on premature sex and its consequences

 

Sensitization on environmental conservation

 

We ladies took the challenge of answering the students’ questions

Michael Chacha captured the kids attention with his fluent Kiswahili and charisma

I’d like your input on something though. After the talk, a young man walked up to Chacha and I and shared his heartfelt desire to abstain despite pressures from his peers. In particular, he asked: “Sometimes I get the urge to engage in sex. What should I do at such moments?

For the first few moments there was silence. I knew at his age, adolescence had just kicked in and hence, his vulnerability to open up was very admirable. We thought for a short while and gave him a few solutions on what he could do. Considering he knew the dangers of pre-marital sex (Tony and I had just done a skit about that, where I’d pretended to be pregnant etc), he needed action points.

Hence why I ask, do you think that the society has made it hard for young people to ask such vulnerable questions? What influence do our beliefs and culture have on the methods used to address this issue? What should we do to reach out to young people, especially concerning sexual purity? What’s the best approach? I have my two-cents but I definitely would love to hear your opinions in the comments.

There are so many more stories concerning medicine, but I’ll share just one more. This one touched me because the mother was a lady my age. It even led me to share on my Insta-stories later that day, especially because it taught me a thing or two about grace. #WhileIwasAway #42daysinTanzania

(Most photos were taken by our lovely photographers: Maggie, Tony and Makini)

PS-  I’ll be sharing more about my trip tomorrow, not necessarily about hospital/medical related things.  So stay tuned.  🙂

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