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Fijian youths urged to give enough attention to sexual transmitted infections

06-25-2012 14:32 BJT

SUVA, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Fiji's Health Ministry is concerned that people are not giving enough attention to some serious diseases such as gonorrhoea after as many as 800 new cases are recorded in the island nation annually.

The ministry's Permanent Secretary Dr Eloni Tora said Monday the disease is mostly common among the young people, urging youths to take proactive measures rather than wait until it's too late.

"I encourage young people to not to wait until they get these sexually transmitted diseases to visit these clinics, they should come and talk to the health professionals and to know what kind of services they have," Tora said.

Earlier in May, the Regional STI Technical Working Group called on Fiji and other Pacific Island countries to reintroduce the universal infant prophylaxis into their hospitals, and for a reintroduction of all service delivery to help in the prevention of neonatal conjunctivitis from untreated sexual transmitted infections (STIs).

The group is made up of six non-governmental organizations: the Secretariat for the Pacific Community, World Health Organization ( WHO), United Nations Population Fund, United Nations Children's Fund (UNISEF), and Centre for Disease Control and the Oceania Society for Sexual Health and HIV Medicine (OSSHHM).

In a week-long workshop at Fiji's Pacific Harbour on HIV Management and Care Training of Pacific Health Care Workers for nine Pacific island countries, OSSHHM Executive Officer Dr Jason Mitchell said universal infant prophylaxis for neonatal conjunctivitis was practiced in Fiji in the past, but why it ceased was unclear.

"Because of the high prevalence of gonorrhoea and chlamydia in women, we believe universal infant prophylaxis should be reintroduced into the country," says Mitchell.

Universal infant prophylaxis involves applying an ointment into newborn baby's eyes at birth, which will prevent eye infection that is a result of untreated STIs from mother to child, particularly from gonorrhoea and chlamydia infections in the region.

Editor:Sun Luying |Source: Xinhua

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