The American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC), under the patronage of His Excellency Minister of Information, Jamal Jarrah, today hosted an educational session addressing matters of sexual health that are of vital importance to the women of Lebanon and the region. Held at the Halim and Aida Daniel Academic and Clinical Center, AUBMC, the session was led by renowned obstetrician and gynecologist sexual health expert, Dr. Faysal El-Kak, with the attendance of key media and influencers.
Minister of Information Jamal Al-Jarrah explained that the media has been linking during the past stage women to commercial goods and products, which negatively affected the approach towards sexual health. He said, “this has delayed our process of understanding sexual health, especially in women. This last plays the role of the mother, wife, and worker in the society. Therefore, any imbalance in her sexual and non-sexual health will lead to a significant negative impact on her life as well as on the life of her husband and children.” He added, “therefore, the media attention should shift away from its usual manner of dealing with women image to a more scientific approach, based on research and studies to create awareness, dissemination, ways of approaching, and methods of assessing sexual health.This will eventually break the silence around the topic. Al-Jarrah confirmed the readiness of the Ministry of Information and the media to cooperate and spread awareness about sexual health.
The morning event was held- on the occasion of World Sexual Health Day- to announce the newly-established Women’s Integrated Sexual Health (WISH) Program at AUBMC. Women in Lebanon are now more at ease than ever to discuss critical matters that affect their sexual, mental, and reproductive health. In fact, research indicates that the majority of women (70% to 90%) are comfortable discussing sex with their healthcare provider and seek further information and resources from them. As part of its integrated services, the Women’s Integrated Sexual Health (WISH) Program provides a safe space for women (and men) to address sexual health issues and problems through a full scope of services such as education, counseling, wide- range treatment and trauma rehabilitation.
On the occasion of the educational session, Dr. El Kak, Director of WISH Program said, “The past decade has witnessed growing international attention to sexual rights and to new standards based on values of dignity, respect, and choice that are being formulated for the creation and maintenance of a sexually healthy society, at policy, education, and services levels. In Lebanon, we have accompanied this discourse through the ongoing reproductive and sexual health projects and activities, global presence, school health education on gender and reproductive health, and growing research on sexual services, and sexual behavior.” He added,” Women’s expectations from their healthcare providers have considerably developed. Most women now associate sexual problems with physical problems and expect their healthcare provider to be knowledgeable and reliable around these problems.”
In addition to today’s event, the newly-established Women’s Integrated Sexual Health (WISH) program at AUBMC will shed the light on women’s sexual health nationwide through a comprehensive awareness campaign that will also include activations in high-footfall areas nationwide, as well as a social media plan to encourage more women (and men) to join the conversation and seek adequate resources.