A dangerous sport
Taking up the importance of this relatively new specialty, the Social Chair of the Conference, Dr. Pramilla Senanayake said that at the population conference in 1994, there was no mention of sexual medicine, only contraception and family planning. Even today, sexual medicine is highly under-rated and that is why this conference is important.
“Sri Lanka has made great strides in public health and reproductive health and also eradicated many diseases but a holistic approach to sexual health is still lacking,” she said, citing the global burden of disease in which reproductive and sexual illhealth accounts for 20% in women and 14% in men.
Picking up a few issues, Dr. Senanayake said that some people are unable to vocalize what their problem is; sometimes they present with unrelated complaints; there is stigma and embarrassment; and service providers are not adequately trained.
Sending ripples of laughter through the audience, she said that sex is “a dangerous sport”. There are about 114 million sexual acts per day, which results in fun, more than 900,000 conceptions; and 356,000 bacterial and viral infections. The conceptions result in 390,000 live births, 290,000 zygote (a fertilized egg or ovum cell) wastage, 130,000 spontaneous abortions and 90,000 induced abortions.
The media has a major responsibility she stressed citing two examples of reporting elsewhere in the world: A big headline on the front-page of a newspaper had declared, ers and open discussions.
“There is a lack of information, knowledge and opportunity for training, with the losers being the patients,” he said, promising that a “glamorous array of stars” in the field would be participating at this big- gest- ever sexual health conference. It will not be western dictated but keeping in touch with cultural and social needs relevant to our countries.
This is why “we need to get the word out” about this important meeting, Dr. Malalasekera added.