More than half of Botswana’s youth are ignorant of the risks HIV/AIDS poses to their lives health officers have claimed.
According to Youth Health Organization (YOHO), an institute that focuses on building life skills and knowledge amongst schoolchildren aged 10-17 years, youngsters are falling into the AIDS trap because they lack knowledge.
“Only 47 percent of adolescents could correctly identify the most common misconceptions about HIV/AIDS transmission in Botswana,” lamented the YOHO Regional Manager Phineas Botlhale during the children’s theatre expo at Phase IV Community Hall in Francistown last Friday.
Botlhale said lack of knowledge was one of the major factors exposing vulnerable young people to HIV infection.
It is against this backdrop that the Botswana National AIDS Prevention Support (BNAPS) has contracted YOHO to build life skills and knowledge for young girls and boys to make healthy choices in life.
To help attain this objective, Botlhale said YOHO has introduced children’s theatre expo and fine art exhibitions in all primary schools in the region.
“This programme empowers participants with life skills necessary to lead healthy lives by delaying their sexual debut,” he said.
He added that the 2010 social assessment survey for BNAPS had indicated that the school curriculum, which includes only scanty information about sexuality, is woefully inadequate and as a result YOHO aims to close the knowledge gap.