24 Apr 2015

Community urged to support youth access to sexual health

8:15 am on 24 April 2015

A Solomon Islands health official says they are working to educate community leaders to be more supportive of young people having access to contraception.

Melanesia has a burgeoning youth population.

Melanesia has a burgeoning youth population. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

New Zealand is funding an initiative that aims to improve sexual and reproductive health outcomes for young people in Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.

The Solomon Islands Ministry of Health's adolescent health programme coordinator, Nancy Pego says young people have a high rate of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

She says this shows they are not accessing sexual health information, and it's important this is supported by community leaders.

"I know that it's a bit sensitive in our country, but might be they will know about what the issues that are affecting young people and then they will slowly accept young people to access these types of contraceptives to prevent them from STIs and even teenage pregnancy."

Nancy Pego says there are plans for youth recreation centres, which also provide health services, in remote and rural communities.

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