by Marie Kauna – EMTV Online, Port Moresby
School teens in parts of Papua New Guinea were privileged to get vital information on cancer through the Healthy Teens School Program.
While many school children do not get this kind of privilege, school children in Milne Bay, West New Britain, Port Moresby and Morobe provinces were given the opportunity to learn about cancer.
Health educators from PNG Cancer Foundation, in partnership with the PNG Cancer Relief Society, visited schools in the four provinces, and taught the school teens on cancer, and the importance of making healthy behavioral choices to avoid the risk of developing cancer.
The children were taught on cancer, its causes, early signs and symptoms and risky ways that lead to cancer.
At the end of the workshop, participating school children were each given the HSTP school packs that contained cancer information in the forms of brochures, pamphlets and booklets.
They were also given survey questions to answer.
According to the results, 42% of the students did not know that chewing betel-nut, smoking and alcohol were some unhealthy ways that can increase the chances of developing cancer; while more than 60% indicated they learnt about cancer prevention ways associated with healthy lifestyles, that can help reduce the chances of cancer in the future.
These results highlight the need for more awareness programs to educate not only school children but everyone, especially those in the remote areas who have no knowledge about this.
The PNG Cancer Foundation through the Healthy Teens School Program is slowly reaching out, and will continue this program to educate many young children.
The program is supported by the Kumul Petroleum Limited and Kumul Consolidated Holdings.
Following a successful workshop in Lae, Morobe province, the next school program will be held in West New Britain in June.