Wednesday , February 21 2024

Students distribute condoms at Carnival

Students from Saba University School of Medicine (SUSOM) supported Body, Mind and Spirit Foundation (BMSF) by distributing condoms throughout Carnival 2013. The Daily Herald wrote that each evening, groups of volunteers participated in the various shows and parades handing out beads with condoms to revellers. They also provided goodie- bags with condoms, lubricants and information with free music-download codes. The volunteers also handed out plain colourful beads to children. Each year, the foundation makes these prevention efforts against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), which are to lead to a change in attitude towards the use of condoms, and to a reduction in STI cases, as well as to what is locally being referred to as “Carnival children.” BMSF also installed condom vending machines in the restrooms at Carnival Village in The Bottom, using humorous posters to promote condom use and create awareness about sexually-transmitted diseases. Unlike past years, during which the foundation organized a float in each parade and even sponsored the official Carnival T-shirts, the new Carnival organizers did not permit BMSF’s participation in the parade.

Two decades ago, the organization started out as a specific epidemic-related agency tasked by local government to create community awareness and outreach. Management now seeks to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV. It is looking into widening its spectrum of STI prevention efforts, as well as having a broader reach and impact on the overall wellbeing of the population. During the last two months, BMSF, in collaboration with SUSOM, stepped up its public health awareness campaign and aired a series of health documentaries on local television. “Hungry for Change,” for instance, dealt with nutrition and “The Weight of the Nation” addressed obesity. Before and during Carnival, BMSF also aired some documentaries about HIV. BMSF is also actively looking into possibilities to deliver public-health related messages via the radio, in addition to social media.

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  1. René Caderius van Veen

    May be that people may call me old-fashoned, but I’m not so sure that actions like these are positive. Although these are meant to prevent unwanted pregnancies and infections with dangerous diseases, they also support an attitude that having sex is just as normal as eating french fries but just with a warning for not putting too much salt on these. In this way these actions are almost promoting animal-like and irresponsible behaviour. This kind of actions from organisations like Body, Mind and Soul are not only in conflict with moral standards of churches or other institutions that stand for ethical behaviour, they also neglect the aspect of educating people to understand responsibilties and to cherish love (and related to that of sex) as a value of life.

  2. I often read here about Saban’ s growing concern about outside influences affecting established ways of doing things. Well, it certainly seems as if birth control is being regulated by “outside influences”

  3. Although I see Rene’s and Tom’s point, the fact is, the spread of STIs and unexpected pregnancies are a problem on Saba, and traditional efforts have not had much success. In an ideal world, we would be able to rely on the morals of the Church however in reality, not everyone abides by these morals. With regard’s to Tom’s point about “outside influences”, the entire program is tasked by “local government” as stated in the article.

  4. When you say a problem and think you should give stats instead of your own injected opinion. Have you spoken to pregnant women and had them tell you their pregnancy was unexpected, although I think any pregnancy is unexpected as while many try they cannot known for certain it will happen. Unplanned, however, is a different thing. And the spread of STIs, truly a concern in any community, but once again do you have statistics to back up your position that this is a problem on Saba.

  5. Surly Saban, I agree that I should have used the word unplanned instead of unexpected. With regards to pregnancy I have spoken to several woman who have children outside of wedlock and several more who have had abortions due to their “unplanned” pregnancies. I think we can all name at least one person in this situation. With regards to STIs, yes, they are a concern in any community. Here on Saba this entire initiative was aimed at stopping the spread of AIDS, since there are many people living with AIDS on Saba. For statistics, you can look at these articles: After reading the statistics, i’m quite surly too.

  6. Not all cases of HIV/AIDS are sexually transmitted. We remember those lost to hospital-borne transmissions as well. Absolutely; moral, trusting persons. They never had a chance. I trust the medical system has improved it’s blood-screening of all donors in the recent decades.

  7. Let’s be honest here. We are human beings, sex is something that we do. People will engage in sexual activity with or without protection, which is why I think we need to show 100% support of using all available methods to prevent the spread of disease and unplanned pregnancies. Distributing condoms is not encouraging people TO have sex, it is allowing people to engage in sexual activity in a safe, smart, and responsible way.

  8. Quite a few different opinions. Some Draconian and some otherwise.

    Interesting to see moral judgments from those “forward thinkers” who now see themselves as “old-fashioned”. To quote Freddy Mercury “Any way the wind blows, it doesn’t really matter to me”.

    As a reformed Irish Catholic, I personally believe providing protection to young people during a time of un-abandoned frivolity (that which is clearly seen as debauchery to stiff shirts) , is a damn good idea.

    I dare one of the previous post to say that they never got the horn on.

    So in synopsis: prevention is always easier than a cure, Or did I just dip out of reality and join a bunch of monkeys in a discussion they are so far removed from.

    I guess some folks just need to get laid, It really does release the tension. But please folks strap one on.