24 May 2003

Marshall Islands Ministry of Health defends promotion of condoms

8:42 am on 24 May 2003

The Ministry of Health in the Marshall Islands has responded to criticism from church-affiliated schools, by saying it is not encouraging sex in promoting the use of condoms.

Several local high school principals have said that the ministry is encouraging teenage sex.

But, the Public Health director, Dr Kenneth Briand, says it isn't fair to put the blame on the ministry for making contraceptives available.

Dr Briand says if the Marshalls didn't have a teenage pregnancy problem in the first place, the ministry wouldn't have to work to prevent it.

He says the ministry is not there to teach moral values and they are not promoting sex.

Dr Briand says if kids were taught about sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy at home and in school, it wouldn't be an issue.

He says the Church can preach no sex but they can't prevent sex from happening because it's a part of life.