Monday, August 26

Get tested for STIs regularly, married couples advised


Fatimah (standing fifth right), Noriah (fourth right), Lau (second right) and participants of the Self-Genius Programme take one for the album. — Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING: Married couples should undergo regular checkups to curb the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), urged Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah.

According to her, pre-natal checkups carried out on expectant housewives and mothers in Sarawak have found more of them to be infected with STIs.

“It is through the checkups that the STI is detected. Then the question arises if she was infected before marriage, or after marriage.

“This is worrying as STIs were formerly linked with promiscuity, and housewives are the unsuspecting victims,” she told reporters after closing the Self-Genius Programme organised by the Women and Family Department at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) yesterday.

To help avoid the possibility of STIs, Fatimah said awareness and protective measures should be taken as STIs were only transmitted via sexual intercourse.

“Both husband and wife should go for checkups to test if they have any STIs, and even if both test negative, safe sex should be practised by the couple as prevention is better than cure.

“If the situation so happens that the husband does have an STI, he needs to use a condom to avoid transmitting it to his wife,” she added.

On the Self-Genius Programme, the minister in her closing speech praised the initiative as a good step in promoting better wellbeing in the state.

She said objective of the programme was to allow participants to control their thoughts and empower themselves.

“This is a good practice to elevate emotional, mental and social well-being. This in turn can help boost the wellbeing of the state.

“After all, it is unbalanced if the state only prospers economically.Everything else should be balanced out so that Sarawak can rise.”

Among those present at the event were Women and Family Department director Noriah Ahmad and Kapitan Dato Lau Sie Lok.

The programme involved about 345 participants, comprising personnel from government agencies and non-governmental organisations, as well as parents and teachers.