The Solomon Islands Planned Parenthood Association (SIPPA) has set up a Youth Health and Social Centre clinic for youths, men and women based in Honiara.

The centre located at the New Chinatown offers counselling services and clinical service provider on sexual and reproductive health.

Similar services are also provided to people in the other three provincial clinics in Auki in Malaita Province, Gizo in Western Province and Taro in Choiseul Province.

A SIPPA spokesman sad that the organisation is grateful to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services to appoint SIPPA and engage its four clinics as Voluntary Confidential and Counselling Testing (VCCT) service providers.

The Youth Health and Social Centre provides Youth Friendly Services in dealing with issues regarding youths and STIs, youths and HIV and AIDS, youths and unplanned pregnancies and youths and family Planning.

Statistic has shown that between the period of October and November this year, the total number of clients who have visited the clinics had reached a total of 1,162 in Honiara itself, excluding the other three provincial clinics.

With the case of STIs, youths are reported to be the highest than adults from age groups as young as 15 to 24 years old.

When dealing with cases of HIV and AIDS, information has shown that 50% of young people infected are below the age of 25 years, and records of recent cases of those infected with HIV were women.

On unplanned pregnancy, women below the age of 19 years old are said to have higher risk of maternal deaths than older women.

It was revealed that young people today are sexually active and do not use contraceptives resulting in unwanted pregnancy.

Youths and others who may want to visit the centre are reassured of friendly staff who are readily available to assist youths, good environment with privacy to respond to the needs of youths.

The Program Officer of SIPPA, George Pitakoe, calls on youths, men and women in and around of Honiara to become a member to SIPPA.

Mr. Pitakoe revealed that SIPPA should, by 2010, cover all provinces with sexual and reproductive health services for youths in fighting against STIs, HIV and AIDS, unplanned pregnancy and other risks that affects people's lives and health.

Source: National Express