13 Oct 2003

Fiji NGO raises concern over increase in STDs in youth

4:37 pm on 13 October 2003

Fiji's director of the Council of Social Services says there is widespread concern about the increase in sexually transmitted diseases in young people.

Hassan Khan there are sex education programmes in the curriculum but a lot more needs to be done to change behaviour and attitudes.

He was speaking after the Health Ministry revealed that 60 percent of the more than two thousand people attending government sexual health clinics in a year, are youth.

Mr Khan says they are doing programmes themselves but they can only do so much.

"The problem is that we have not been able to go nationally on this thing because of lack of funds or whatever funds come in on an intermittent basis. Unfortunately, the programme we are doing has not received any great deal of financial assistance from donor agencies, including the government. We're hoping that some assistance will come from government, hopefully in the next couple of weeks."

Mr Khan says there will be an executive meeting of the council this week to discuss the issue.