Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut February 12, 2018 - 11:30 am

Nunavut government promotes sexual and reproductive health

"Sexual health is an important part of our overall well-being"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
On the Government of Nunavut's www.irespectmyself.ca website, you can find lots of information, in Inuktitut, English, French and Inuinnaqtun, on sex and reproductive health. (SCREEN SHOT)
On the Government of Nunavut's www.irespectmyself.ca website, you can find lots of information, in Inuktitut, English, French and Inuinnaqtun, on sex and reproductive health. (SCREEN SHOT)

The Government of Nunavut is encouraging Nunavummiut to talk about “healthy relationships and us” this week, during Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Week, Feb. 12 to Feb. 16.

“Sexual health is an important part of our overall well-being,” says the territory’s Department of Health, which urges Nunavummiut “to keep the conversation going about sexual health” in an advisory.

The GN said young people who receive sexual health education are less likely to have sex at a young age.

And they make healthier choices about when to have sex, know how to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies, and can contribute to the overall health of Nunavut communities, the GN said.

The Department of Health has developed an online resource called “Healthy Relationships: Let’s Talk About Us,” with tips on how to discuss personal values and beliefs, how to behave in relationships, and how to cope with break-ups.

For more information on healthy relationships, sexual health, and safer sex, or how to talk about sexual health with your children, students, friends and partners, the GN also suggested visiting your local health centre or talking to “a trusted adult.”

Nunavut has a Sexual Health Framework for Action, which was drafted to build on its sexual health services from 2012 to 2017.

The plan was geared to respond to Nunavut youth, who said they want more information about sexual abuse, STIs, pregnancy and contraception.

It cited health statistics for the territory: in Nunavut, the teen pregnancy rate for young women aged 14 and 19 is more than five times the national average.

The territory also continues to struggles with high STI rates: gonorrhea infections have been almost 50 times higher in Nunavut than nationally, but the rate has dropped since 2010.

Chlamydia as the most commonly reported STI in 2015, with 1,376 new reported infections, up from 2014 when there were 1,285 new reported infections, according to GN figures.

As easy is it is to cure chlamydia—with a week’s worth of antibiotics—this STI can easily be caught again, as it often shows few symptoms.

In an online website statement Pat Angnakak says STIs are “important health problems in Nunavut.”

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