Tuesday, May 19, 2009

“Your Sex, Your Health”

Aptly dubbed by the LTAS team “Your Sex; Your Health; Your Life; Your Choices”, the month of April saw a comprehensive dissemination of social health related information by the hosts and guests on the Let’s Talk About Sex radio show. The discussions subtly deviated from the mainstream topics of disease and wellness to more commonplace issues like “Making Right Choices: Taking Life to Your Dreams”, “Abortion vs. Early Parenthood”, “The Girl Child in the Home (essentially gender roles and norms in our Liberian setting)”, and “Take Control of Your Life: Don’t go With the Gutter Flow”. As these topics were being discussed, young people were constantly reminded of how important it is to make smart decisions in their days of youth because these decisions tend to have long term effects on their lives.

Participating via SMS, Prince Toe, Jr., an LTAS listener from Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County, shared his opinion on the influences of peer pressure: “moving with a group does not matter. But what matters is the kind of group and its objectives”. Earl Carter, another ardent LTAS listener who resides on 20th Street, commended the show’s team and went on to suggest what he thinks is a major contributor to youths’ yielding in to negative peer pressure from their friends; “it all boils down to self-esteem and good morals, virtues which parents must instill in their children.”

The guests who appeared on the show during the April month provided a variety of expertise. Dr. Wilhemina Jallah, an Obstetrician Gynecologist at the JFK Maternity Center, joined the hosts to discuss the topic “Abortion vs. Early Parenthood”. In this episode the adoption laws of Liberia were discussed, as well as the physical and psychological effects of abortions in general-‘back-street’ abortions in particular were heavily discussed. The ever-youthful, and inspirational, President of the Federation of Liberian Youths (FLY), Jimmy Sankatuah, was the guest on the show when they discussed “Making Right Choices: Taking Life to Your Dreams”. Liberian Television Actress/ Producer, Martha Arkosah, who is the In-Profile Daily’s society columnist, brought her animation and realistic insights to the microphone to discuss “Take Control of Your Life: Don’t go With the Gutter Flow”.

The month’s theme, Making Choices, has long been, and still is, a very deep subject of debate amongst various individuals across all spectrum of the society. And though the guests who appeared on the show came from diverse professional backgrounds, one common fact resonated from all their discourses; HIV/AIDS and unintended pregnancy are some of the most widespread and serious consequences of young people making poor choices. With the LTAS show having a nationwide audience amongst Liberian youths, April’s series of episodes on the show gave hundreds of thousands of youths in Liberia a ‘cause to pause’ for a while and review their lifestyles. Hopefully there will be moves made to change for the better.

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