YOGYAKARTA- As many as 50 students of Faculty of Medicine from 12 universities in Indonesia, for three days from 15-17 April 2011 participated in the National Peer Education Workshop (NPEW) 2011 held at Faculty of Medicine UGM. The event was organized by SCORA CIMSA (Standing Committee on Reproductive Health Including AIDS-Center for Indonesian Medical Students Activities) which is known as a medical student organization working in the field of reproductive health and HIV/ AIDS.
According to the Committee Chairman of NPEW 2011, Wirawan Prabowo, the 12 universities include Universitas Gadjah Mada, Muhammadiyah University of Yogyakarta, Sebelas Maret University, Airlangga University, Muhammadiyah University of Surakarta, Brawijaya University, University of Jember, Padjadjaran University, Universitas of Riau, Sultan Agung University, and Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University.
"The participants of NPEW are medical student members or observers of SCORA CIMSA 2008-2010 and have participated at least in one of SCORA projects," said Wirawan in the Faculty, Saturday (16/4).
He added that the background of the event is to remember the importance of reproductive health education and HIV/AIDS prevention for adolescents. In his view, the main obstacle in sex education in Indonesia is that sex is still considered a taboo. It is difficult for adolescents to obtain information about sex and things related to it, especially from older people.
"So, we can see many of them who try to get that information," the student of Faculty of Medicine UGM added.
Meanwhile, Infithar from Division of Public Relations, Publications, and Licensing of NPEW 2011 explained that peer education is the education between educators and those who get educated in the same age range and sometimes have similar backgrounds. Peer education is thought to be very effective because it uses the same language and message, making it more useful and relevant to everyday life.
"Another advantage of peer education is that it can be obtained with low cost but still qualified," Infithar said.
With the slogan Transforming Youth Society, some NPEW series include training of peer educators followed by counseling to society, namely, high-risk groups such as users of hypodermic needle, female sex workers, etc.
In addition to HIV/ AIDS, the participants also get the material on addictive drugs, reproductive health, sex and gender.