JIS News

Residents of the fishing community along Port Henderson Road in Portmore, popularly called ‘Back Road’, recently benefited from a family life education seminar, where they were sensitised about the Child Care and Protection Act and how to prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
The seminar, held at the Port Henderson Church of God, was organised by the Optimist Club of North Portmore to mark Safe Sex Week from February 8-14.
Residents were informed of their responsibilities under the Child Care and Protection Act, including reporting all known cases of child abuse and neglect, as failure to do so, could result in them being arrested and fined.
President of the Optimist Club of North Portmore, Maxine Francis-Riley, said that the Act was a vital piece of legislation that Jamaicans should seek to find out more about, as it could have an impact on their lives.
“I think if we see or perceive that something negative is happening to our children, we have a duty to let the relevant agencies know, so they can carry out a thorough investigation in the interest of the child,” she told JIS News.
She further pointed to the need for young people to be informed about issues relating to their sexuality “and the fact that there is no need for them to rush into sexual activity, as they have the rest of their lives before them. They need to have the information to be able to make the right choices”.
Several stakeholder partners were on hand to provide information to residents including the Office of the Children’s Advocate; the Greater Portmore Health Centre’s HIV/AIDS Education Unit; and the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA).
One resident, who attended the seminar, said she was pleased at the effort to “bring this kind of information to the people”, especially the youth.
“Young people today still pay scant regard to safe sex. They hear about it everyday and some may follow and some might not, but the more you can teach it is a good thing,” she added.
As part of the seminar, there were demonstrations on the proper use of the male and female condoms (Femidom), and free HIV testing.

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