Madam Rebecca Matthew, Principal Midwifery Officer at the Tamale Teaching Hospital has advised young people to have healthy relationships and practice safe sex if they cannot abstain.

She cautioned them against early sex and said early exposure to sex greatly contributed to factors causing cervical cancer.

According to her, the cancer causing virus was contracted from men, adding that as adolescents their bodies might not be matured enough to develop immunity that could fight viruses released into them.

She said this in Tamale on Thursday at the Young Voices Forum, a platform for young people to learn and share Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) topics that affected their development.

She encouraged them to take responsibility for their reproductive health, to avoid being victims and indicated that they were highly vulnerable and their exposure to early sex came with dire consequences.

Madam Matthew urged the young people to seek Reproductive Health Services at all times and not only when they were confronted with challenges or infections, and said reproductive health entailed total well-being, which they ought to take seriously.

She wondered how young people were exposed to early sex nowadays by the very traditions and culture that needed to protect them at that vulnerable age, and intimated that the same culture frowned at attempts to allow them to be educated on their sexuality health rights and needs.

She urged parents and guardians to be more responsible in handling adolescents and their related concerns, and said neglecting them at that adventurous age caused them to confide in friends, which eventually may lead them to practice social vices as result of pressure from these peers.

She however conceded that information on reproductive health was unavailable or incomplete which made adolescents face challenges such as unplanned pregnancies and abortions.

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