Western Cape Government Health in Eden, enjoy celebrating our youth, not only are we servants in the Public Health environment, but many or most of us are also parents and/or guardians.
Just as we wish only the best for our own children, so too do our staff want to see joy and happiness in our youth. Opportunities for success are plentiful, but we need to seek the opportunity and then apply ourselves to reaching successful outcomes.
It is with great sadness that our staff bears witness to the result of hopelessness, lack of involved parenting, substance and other abuse on our young people. These include unsafe sexual practices resulting in Teenage pregnancy, HIV, STD’s and mental illnesses, to mention a few. Young people who are confronted with these issues are so much more burdened than what is necessary. This is evident from statistics that show that 603 youths under the age of 18 gave birth at Eden facilities in the 2015/16 financial year and that 121 pregnancies were terminated, all from girls under 18 years.
This youth day the Department would like to focus on protecting our youth, making life a bit less confusing and putting back a little bit of hope! Your clinic is there to help you prevent the illnesses that can rob you of your future. Many of our clinics offer extended hours for Women’s Health services and Youth Clinics where information is shared with youth regarding their health and choices. However, should you be engaging in sex remember that your closest clinic is there to assist you with family planning choices.
The best way to protect yourself is to abstain from risky behaviour! Unprotected sex, drinking alcohol, smoking and trying drugs are all very risky behaviours!
Services for All:
Condoms – Condoms are free of charge at all clinics and often available at many other places. WCG Health even offers flavoured condoms! Condoms not only help prevent STI’s, but also help prevent pregnancy. Even if your partner says that she is using birth control, make sure that you use a condom, every time you have sex. Condoms can only be used once, and should be thrown away after use.
HIV testing and counselling – It is very important to know your HIV status, if you are HIV-, we can help you to remain so. If you are HIV+, it is important that you are counselled correctly so that you are able to manage your health and possible treatment.
Mental Health – Depression and other illnesses of the mind or emotions are becoming more prevalent in our communities, please seek help if you are feeling hopeless and/or depressed.
General Health – The nurses at the clinic are trained to help you with relevant information and guidance on living a healthy lifestyle. Many clinics have support groups or can refer you to NGO’s that offer activities and emotional support to young people.
Services for Males over the age of 12:
Male Medical Circumcision – (MMC) is a safe and effective manner in which to reduce the chances of contracting and therefore passing on HIV. MMC removes the foreskin so that the HIV virus cannot ‘hide’ there. MMC has many other benefits. The procedure is done by a team of trained healthcare professionals.
Services for females:
Birth Control – WCG Health Facilities have a choice of birth control methods, all are free of charge. The professional nurses can help choose the birth control method that will suit you best. Some ladies like the control that taking the Pill offers them, while others prefer the 2 or 3 monthly injections or even the Implant, which is placed in your upper arm and only needs replacing every three years.
Emergency Contraception – This is a pill that can be taken within +- 5 days of unprotected sex and will prevent pregnancy. A CopperT UID can also be inserted into the uterus by a trained provider within 5 days after having unprotected sex . You need to visit the clinic as soon as possible after having had unprotected sex, or if the condom breaks.
Options for unwanted pregnancy(TOP) – it is important that you visit the clinic should you expect that you are pregnant, do not wait for more than 12 weeks. The earlier you visit the clinic and speak to the health worker, the sooner you can make the best decision for you and your body. TOP on demand before 12 weeks.