By St. Vincent Journalist Gloria Williams
School Counsellor Values Information Delivered by Trinity School of Medicine Students
On Tuesday, 24th June, and Friday, 26th June, two secondary schools in St. Vincent and the Grenadines were given the opportunity by Trinity School of Medicine to be informed and to interact with information on sexually transmitted diseases. Students of the all-female secondary school, the St. Vincent Girls’ High School (GHS) and the all-male St. Vincent Grammar School (SVGS) were exposed to two separate interactive sessions on “Clinical Prevention of Selected Sexually Transmitted Diseases”.
To begin, the medical student group which comprised Miae Lee and Sarah Celebi, Third Term; Ariel Stearnes, Second Term; and Vikki Kamatgi, First Term student; captured the attention of both audiences with a thought-inspiring introduction and several pictorial representations of presentations of the diseases to be tackled.
Very pertinent information was given on sexually transmitted diseases, methods of contact, differences between bacteria and viruses, and avoiding exposure to these infections, among other areas. Among these were syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, human papilloma virus, herpes simplex virus, and tricomaniasis. With these fully explained and discussed, HIV/AIDS was looked at in greater detail. Not only were students given the information on this disease, but they were also encouraged to avoid putting themselves at risk.
Girls’ High School Guidance Counsellor, Ms. Verdine Roberts was quite happy with the progress of the session at her school. She was happy that Trinity saw it necessary to interact with school communities outside of their own to deliver factual information that was extremely appropriate to her students.
“I think all schools, all young people should be made aware of the facts related to HIV/AIDS. Of course, there are many parents who would want to be the ones to expose their children to the knowledge or information, but once information comes from a credible source, and delivered in a proper manner, what more can you ask for.” She lauded Trinity for the choice of topic for the discussion.
“I think it is very relevant because HIV/AIDS is a current issue. It is something that everyone needs to be aware of and we find that children are becoming involved in the sexual world at earlier ages than before, because they are exposed to the media and sometimes this information is not controlled, it is not monitored; and so sometimes become over exposed and may experiment much earlier. They have a lot of misconceptions. As much as they have access to the information age, it is amazing how much they do not take the time to look up facts.”
Principal of the SVGS, Mr. Curtis King, agreed that, “Given that these boys are adolescents, we at this school will want to give our students factual information that would allow them to make proper choices as it relates to the opposite sex. They are curious, and without the relevant facts could engage in poor decision making. We are a single-sex school and we welcome any initiative that would assist them in better understanding themselves, especially in terms of sexuality.”
By the end of the session, it was clear from the answers given by students, the questions they posed themselves, the telling expressions of understanding and affirmation of knowledge, that the Trinity students had achieved their objectives. The questionnaire handed out at the conclusion, were an actual measurement tool for reception, understanding and appreciation for the informative session. This activity formed part of a program being undertaken by students of Trinity School of Medicine from which other schools are earmarked to benefit.