Fostering thoughtful communities, ending stigmas give rise to positive sexual and psychosocial health, say experts

·2-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — A recent roundtable meeting organised by the Federation of Reproductive Health Associations, Malaysia (FHRAM) found that fostering thoughtful communities and removing stigma associated with sexual and reproductive issues will promote positive sexual and psychosocial health.

“Thoughtful community-based social support groups are recognised as a key element that contributes to emotional and psychosocial health, including sexual health dilemmas.

“Strong support groups involve having a network of trusted professionals, friends, and family when a person in calamity can turn to in times of urgent need.

“Positive social integration is important to manage depression and loneliness”, said Ramesh Vadiveloo, community health care manager of PT Foundation.

Meanwhile, Dr Kamal Kenny, chairman of FRHAM added that issues related to sexual health must also be scrutinised to ensure that no one is left behind in getting proper healthcare access, and a holistic approach that involves various stakeholders is needed.

Nordin Abdullah, the founder of Malaysia Global Business Forum, then said that mass media including social media are imperative in raising awareness of good sexual health practices.

“To reduce sexually transmitted infections requires behavioural change. That will only be possible through constant education and communication. As such the role of the media cannot be understated.

“Collectively, we must remove the stigma associated with sexual and reproductive health.

“These conversations need to be held in a safe zone that is culturally appropriate and based on the latest scientific facts and this is how we can empower individuals and build a resilient society,” he added.

The roundtable meeting was held by FRHAM in collaboration with DTAP Clinic at KL Wellness City to discuss and exchange views on positive sexual health, sexually transmitted disease burden, access to healthcare, and the media’s role in sexual wellbeing.

It was initiated by Health Forum360, and supported by PT Foundation and the Malaysia Global Business Forum.

Also present in the meeting was the director of DTAP Clinic Dr Kaarthig Ganesamoorthy. The roundtable was moderated by senior educationist Datin Dr Nor Hafizah Ismail.