FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 01 DECEMBER 2022
IMPROVING ACCESS TO HEALTH INFORMATION ON STD’S – TALANOA I LE AFAINA O LE SOIFUA MALOLOINA O TINA SAMOA LAUNCHES ITS SECOND SEASON
Samoa continues to grapple with high rates of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) such as chlamydia, which left untreated can lead to complications such as sterility or difficulty for a woman to carry a baby to term. In 2017 the rate of chlamydia was estimated to be 30.6% (26.8 to 35.0) .The situation is exacerbated by a low rate of testing, limited condom usage and limited coverage of sexual and reproductive health education in schools.
The team at the School of Nursing at the National University of Samoa (NUS) sought to raise public awareness of this topical health issue in the second season of their podcast series – Talanoa i le afaina o le soifua maloloina o tina Samoa (Talking about women’s health in Samoa). The series shares health information on sensitive topics specifically targeted to Samoans locally and in the diaspora through the Samoan language.
With the support and mentorship of the Australia Broadcasting Corporation’s International Development (ABCID) unit, NUS conducted interviews with medical experts to create four episodes for Season 2.
ABC International Development Lead, Jo Elsom says “The ABC is very proud to support the ground-breaking work of this NUS podcast series. Season 1 was very popular, and we hope listeners also find Season 2 entertaining and informative. But best of all, it is convenient – you can listen wherever and whenever it suits you, learning about important health topics to keep you well.”
With a lot of misinformation and a lack of awareness surrounding STDs, each episode seeks to inform, educate, and answer frequently asked questions. Episode 1 introduces STDs: what they are, and the causes and risks for contracting an STD. Episode 2 combats some of the myths and taboos around STDs and barriers to treating and treatment. Episode 3 discusses the signs, symptoms, and treatment for STDs and in Episode 4, listeners learn what happens during treatment – which isn’t as scary as some would think!
Co-Producer and academic Dr Ramona Boodoosingh says “It is critical that health information be accessible, understandable and useful to people when making decisions about their health; this requires health educators to explore different strategies to achieve these goals, especially when the health topics are sensitive. Podcasts facilitate private listening and empowers persons with varying degrees of literacy or visual disabilities to access health information”.
The ten-minute episodes can be accessed via Podbean, Spotify and Apple podcasts. Listeners can download the audio and listen when it is convenient. The goal of Season 2 is to raise awareness of STDs, to help dispel many of the myths around STDs – such as one must look ill to be ill – and to encourage the public to make informed health decisions which include getting tested.
The SAFE activities are supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Pacific Sub-Regional Office, of which ABC International Development is an implementing partner supporting a range of development programs, the primary one being the Australian Government’s Transformative Agenda for Women, Adolescents and Youth in the Pacific: Towards Zero Unmet Need for Family Planning.
For interview opportunities and general media enquiries, please contact:
Dr Ramona Boodoosingh
 Prevalence of syphilis, gonorrhoea and chlamydia in women in Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia, Papua New Guinea and Samoa, 1995–2017: Spectrum-STI model estimates | Western Pacific Surveillance and Response (who.int)