The dangers of sexually transmitted diseases and infections were highlighted at a recent lecture in Mountrath Community school.
The decision to run the lecture was made by the Leaving Cert Applied 6th year students.
Student Sarah Shaw explains.
“We decided to do our Contemporary Issues Task on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as the class felt it would be of educational benefit as we get ready to leave school,” she said.
The class invited Mary O’Neill of the STD clinic at Portlaoise Hospital to their co-ed school last November, to deliver a lecture to 5th and 6th years.
During her talk, Ms O’Neill explained the various types of STDs and STIs, and advised on the different types of treatments available.
She also informed the students about types of contraception which are particularly effective in preventing sexually transmitted diseases and infections.
“Ms O’Neill also gave some interesting facts and statistics about the rate at which STDs and STIs are increasing in Irish universities and society generally. We learned so much more then we knew previously about the different types of STDs and STIs,” said student Sarah Shaw.
The students also learned that the STD unit in Portlaoise Hospital is open by appointment for people who wish to have a scan done or avail of treatment but for people under the age of 17 parental permission is necessary.
The class had worked as a team to make the day a success. Georgina Culbert and Eric Coss designing information brochures, Phillipa Allen and Catriona Dunne worked on research.
Sarah Shaw and Tamera Clear communicated with the principal Ms McCarthy and the different hospitals in the local area to arrange the lecture.
Sarah Ryan and Amy Doheny organised refreshments for when the talk was over, and thank the canteen staff for providing food, and thank the canteen staff and the school principal for facilitating the lecture.
Christopher Bergin and Jamie Callaghan had the task of welcoming Mary O'Neill, assisting her and taking photos during the talk.
Tadhg Burke posted the announcement on the staffroom noticeboard inviting teachers it, and assisted in the tidying up afterwards.
“Everybody in our class really enjoyed doing this task together and as we all got suitable jobs, it enabled our strengths and weaknesses to shine through,” said Sarah.