Mobile SMS 1293, E-learning Provides Safer Sex: Says Activist

Thursday 15th May, 2014 | Srun Srorn

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Young people sms to 1293

“Technology is growing very quickly among young people, enabling them to access porn pictures and videos and be active sexually.  But because of this, they are having unprotected sex without getting accurate information on sexual reproductive health from the tech growth,” Srorn Srun, sexual reproductive health & rights activist, said Thursday.

With the affordable price of cell phones, costing as low as 13 USD, even people living in remote and isolated rural areas, the homeless, students, and low-income young people can enjoy communicating daily by SMS [Short Message Service]. The SMS 1293 & e-learning www.smartyouthcambodia.org platform is built to provide accurate, confidential, and non-judgemental information, answering especially sensitive questions about sexual reproductive health and other social issues.

“I had sex with my boyfriend after knowing him through facebook in February. We agreed to meet and had sex at once, and we didn’t know how to have safer sex, and I also didn’t know whom I should talk to after making love with him at that time,” a 16-year-old and secondary school girl said.

“The mobile and e-learning platform will allow young people to acquire sexual health information during their free time or private time as this is an online and 24/7 service which any young person can use on the internet to receive answers to their sensitive questions on abortion and preventing unwanted pregnancy, and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) matters,” Srorn explains.

“Providing accurate and non-judgemental information to keep young people healthy is one of our priorities.  If a country is only developed if their people are healthy, then all mobile operators should join hands for this project by offering the free short code 1293,” said Secretary of Sates of Ministry of Post and Telecommunications H.E Khay Kunheng, in his address during the Launching Ceremony on Learning about Living project on March 28.

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has produced a Life Skills curriculum which is being piloted in five provinces to impart more knowledge of sexual reproductive health, aimed at improving people’s health as this is the first initiative and remarkable step in the health sector of Cambodia which is supported by the UNFPA, UNESCO, RHAC and KHANA.

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