Although NPET is an independent MMSA standing committee, SCORA takes a particular interest in providing a comprehensive sexual education syllabus for teenagers across the country whose schools are willing to accept our program. Studies have shown that countries with a comprehensive sexual education syllabus show a decreased incidence, if not of sex, then at least of unsafe sex. As an example, England, a country known to have a high teenage pregnancy rate, adopted a strong sexual health policy and this year showed a 4% decrease in teenage pregnancies. Although this might not sound like a drastic change, it is worth keeping in mind that mentality changes very slowly.
For more information, take a look at the section: ‘Sex-ed: Peer Education Programme’.
World AIDS Day Campaign
Following an internationally recognized initiative, SCORA celebrates World Aids Day (1st December) with a week of activities that aim to raise as much awareness about HIV/AIDS as possible. These activities include outreaches on and off campus, a candle vigil held at Valletta, an HIV/AIDS seminar and a PLAYSAFE party to end the campaign with a bang!. HIV/AIDS still remains an incurable disease, and although anti-retroviral drugs can keep it in check, these are costly. Education is the only means of preventing spread, and since the most infectious phase is asymptomatic, the virus is unlikely to be wiped out until humanity as a whole decides to employ safe sexual and needle practices.
– zero stigma and discrimination against People Living with HIV/AIDS
A transnational IFMSA project aimed to address the problem of stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS. Medical students all over the world have witnessed how human rights of PLWHA are being neglected and violated by means of care refusal, suboptimal care, excessive precautions and humiliation. Providing training on all aspects of HIV for health care students and professionals is crucial in achieving universal access to treatment, care and support of PLWHA. Stigma and discrimination among general population even after over 25 years since the beginning of the epidemic, remains high in all the regions of the world. This represents a major obstacle in decreasing the number of people affected by HIV. The main goals of the project are to develop training sessions for medical students about HIV/AIDS and human rights of people living with HIV/AIDS and to focus on international and local advocacy. Through this project and in liaison with SCOME, SCORA also aims at ensuring that the topic is well covered in the medical curriculum.
Valentine’s Day Campaign
Valentine’s Day presents another opportunity to emphasise the ABCD of safe sex and also for some light hearted campaigning on campus. This year during Valentine’s Day we will be emphasising the use of condoms in preventing STIs not only through outreaches, but also through interactive sessions for university students on campus.
The MMSA-SCORA e-newsletter will act as a platform between the coordinators and the rest of the medical students. There will be two (one per semester) and will consist of short articles (written by medical students) regarding any SCORA-related topic and also updates regarding upcoming campaigns.
This will be the first newsletter of the sort for SCORA and its aim is to increase awareness regarding reproductive health whilst also attracting readers and students to take part in our campaigns and keep updated on what to expect in that particular semester.
Reproductive Neoplasms Campaign
Cancer affects all of the reproductive organs including the breast, cervix, uterus, vulva, endometrium,ovaries, prostate, testicles, and penis. These cancers are amongst the most common, with breast andcervical cancer being the two most common cancers in women worldwide, and with testicular cancerbeing the most common cancer in males aged 20–39 years.
Many of these cancers can be prevented or diagnosed early through proper knowledge andself examination. The campaign and seminar will focus on risk factors and how to reduce them,prevention, proper self-examination and also the human papilloma virus (HPV) which causes 99% ofcervical cancer.
The Reproductive Neoplasms Campaign will focus on breast cancer, cervical cancer, vulvular cancer,testicular cancer and prostate cancer. The campaign will be targeted to university students through acampus outreach and seminar and also through various other events such as International Women’sDay and International Men’s Day (in Liaison with SCORP) and HealthFest (in Liaison with SCOPH).
Sexual Health Survey
For the past year MMSA-SCORA has been working with Dr Tanya Melillo, a Public Health Specialist, to help her undertake a national study on sexual knowledge, attitudes and lifestyles in young Maltese adults between the ages of 18-25 as so far very limited data is available on the state of sexual health in the Maltese Islands amongst our youths.
The Survey is aimed at sexually active youths. These can contribute to this Survey by submitting a urine sample for free testing of Chlamydia and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), and filling in a questionnaire. Of course all information remains anonymous and confidential.
This year, Dr. Melillo wants us to target youths with different lifestyles including the gay community, gozitans and also low class youths to assess the impact education has on sexual choices and sexual health.
Preconception Care Campaign
Healthy Parents = Healthy Babies = Healthy Start to Life…
This will be a new campaign that SCORA will be holding. The aim of this campaign is to shift attention towards the delicate time of the human lifespan that is preconception, in an attempt to raise awareness about and change risk behaviours associated with pregnancy complications, preterm birth and fetal abnormalities. Although inextricably linked, this is NOT a maternal health campaign – our focus is primarily on the fetus/baby.
The objectives of the campaign are:
• To encourage people to reflect on their personal habits and lifestyle, as well as their susceptibility to medical conditions that could impose health risks on the fetus in utero.
• To inform the general public about the necessary steps as well as precautions that should be undertaken before planning a pregnancy.
• To indirectly encourage family planning by educating and increasing empowerment of women, especially adolescents.
Mr. & Mrs. Breastestis Campaign
It is an international campaign that MMSA-SCORA will be introducing. It focuses on the prevention of reproductive neoplasms, mainly breast, cervical, testicular and prostate cancer. The campaign will consist of sessions targeted to 15-18 year old co-ed students that will take place in sixth forms and mixed schools eg. San Andrea, SAC, DLS, JC, Higher etc. The sessions will be interactive and practical where the neoplasms are discussed in a new and interesting way in order to educate teens so as to be aware of the risk factors and symptoms of the diseases.
The practical sessions will also include how to self-examine the breast and testes so that any changes can be noticed immediately. Social and psychological aspects of the diseases was they may affect members of the teens’ families, as well as the use of vaccinations and screening will also be covered in these interactive sessions.
The campaign will be a more hands-on peer education session aimed at older students. We plan on keeping the sessions co-ed in order to raise awareness about what the opposite sex may be going through in order to increase understanding thus these sessions are aimed at mixed schools and sixth forms.
Antihomophobia Campaign, Gender Equality and Sexual Harassment
With an ever-changing society, there is much need to raise awareness regarding gender equality. In doing so, we would be acting to prevent discrimination of gender and sexuality.
This year, the Antihomophobia campaign will form part of SCORP’s Human Rights week. It will entail the distribution of materials related to Antihomophobia and LGBT rights, in liaison with SCORP and WeAre. This will help decrease the stigma associated with LGBT whilst also letting the students on campus know that we should accept diversity.
Gender Equality and Sexual Harassment will be addressed during the Human Rights Week seminar/ talks. The talks will probably be given by a professional from the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality (NCPE).
Last edited September 30, 2012