In Collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Life (HFL) Division, BaSHRA launched the pilot phase of the “BabyCan Wait” Programme in two New Providence high schools, C. V. Bethel Senior high and Anatol Rodgers Secondary Schools. Fourteen (14) Grade 10 classes, consisting of over 350 students, participated in a twelve-week programme, dealing with responsible decision-making, HIV, sexually transmitted infections, abstinence, correct condom usage, effective communication, values and analysing consequences of sexual health decisions in families, among others.
It was seen from student feed-back surveys, test results and class discussions that there was dramatic improvement in sexual and reproductive health knowledge, and increases in reports of a desire to delay pregnancy, use condoms consistently and/or remain abstinent while in school.
"Good Touch, Bad Touch" Summer Programme
During July, as in years past, the Bahamas Family Planning conducted its “Good Touch/Bad Touch” Summer Camp, at Columbus Primary School, in Centreville. Further, it took its evidenced-based curriculum to the Urban Renewal and H.M. Police Force Summer Camps. More than 100 children learned about what are appropriate touches and what to do when touched inappropriately and in body zones that are off limits, except by trusted adults, like mommies.
The Organisation is now appealing for additional volunteers, especially mothers (both stay-at-home and working) to become trained in the “Good Touch/Bad Touch” curriculum, and commit to teaching one session per week to primary school aged children for eight sessions.
Sexual and Reproductive Health Advocacy
Recent changes in the average income of households (especially after the most recent recession and increasing unemployment from delayed economic projects like Baha Mar) are more pronounced than ever before, with the gaps between the poor and the rich getting ever wider. With this as a background, sexual and reproductive health inequalities are even more pronounced than those of income, and unmet need for family planning among the poorest segments of the population is much greater than among the richest.
Additionally, threats like Zika further underscore the need for women to have increased control over their fertility. Furthermore, motherhood among poor adolescents remains relatively unchanging, despite the availability of contraception; this trend contributes to a widening gap between social classes, through the generational transmission of poverty.
Under the name Bahamas Sexual Health & Rights Association, the Bahamas Family Planning operates its sexual and reproductive rights education and advocacy platform. They are committed to gender equality, and to eliminating the gender discrimination which threatens individual well-being and leads to the widespread violation of health and human rights, particularly those of young, marginalised women.