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Statistics Show Increase In STDs During Holidays 

By Derrick Tem Kwe & Ethel Edimo*

CameroonPostline.com — Statistics from the Buea Regional Hospital Annex show that sexually transmitted diseases, STDs, always increase during holidays. Statistics of May-July 2013, for example, stand at 56, 62 and 71 cases respectively, as compared to those of May-July 2012, which stood at 61, 40 and 31 cases respectively, excluding that of HIV and AIDS.

These were just figures of youth who were tested for these diseases. It is, nonetheless, believed that, the figures would have been higher if many more were screened. Meanwhile, statistics for HIV/AIDS stand at 35, 43 and 52 for the months of May, June and July 2013, as compared to 2012 which stood at 39, 53 and 72 for the same months. 

An official in the Southwest Regional Delegation of Public Health told The Post that the Ministry is aware of the increase in STDs during holidays and is taking necessary measures to curb their spread, especially among the youthful population. These measures, he said, include sensitisation of youth about these diseases, free screening and organisation of conferences and seminars to educate the public.

The Ministry of Public Health, in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Civic Education, organises AIDS-Free Holidays programmes, during which youth are sensitised on HIV/AIDS and STDs, free screening is carried out, while condoms are distributed to encourage active young adults to practise safe sex. An operator of a medical traditional clinic in Buea confirmed that cases of venereal diseases have been on the increase during this holiday period.

She said the most frequent case of venereal disease dealt with in their institution is gonorrhoea. According to her, they minister treatments to these people who include students, commercial motorcyclists (bendskins) and taxi drivers. Persons of both sexes ranging between the ages of 19 to 35 visit this clinic for treatment for sexually transmitted infections.

According to Dr. Richard Koum, a medical doctor in a private hospital in Buea, “a true boy-girl relationship is worth much more than having sex. It is priceless; it cannot be bought with money, not to talk of buying it with sex.” He added: “if you have a friend from the opposite sex you really care for, you will not defy his or her body for the mere pleasure of sex. For, this may lead to an inherent consequence such as an unwanted pregnancy, or some sexually transmitted diseases and even HIV/AIDS”.

As the days go by, many young people are tested positive with venereal diseases such as HIV/AIDS, gonorrhoea, syphilis and other STDs. This increase in the spread of STDs, The Post learnt, is primarily caused by unprotected sexual intercourse, especially among youth who are said to be very sexually active.

Young people who have little or nothing to do during the holidays indulge in unprotected sexual activities which lead to the transmission of these diseases. Overtaken by the excitement of meeting one another after a long time, they immediately express their love for one another via sex. In spite of increased sensitization and awareness on the mode of transmission, youngsters are known to engage more and more in sexual activities.

(UB & ASMAC Students On Internship)
First published in The Post print edition no 01457


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