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Ireland’s First National Study of Sexual Health and Relationships Welcomed

By October 15, 2006News

Release date: 16 October 2006

The Irish Family Planning Association has welcomed the publication of Ireland’s first study of sexual health and relations, and said that the findings underline the need for a national sexual health strategy.

According to the IFPA’s Chief Executive, Niall Behan, “for the first time in the history of the State we have substantial, national research on the sexual behaviour and attitude of our population. The trends identified in this study reflect those which the IFPA has observed in our service delivery work for decades.

“Up to now, Ireland has stood apart from its EU counterparts in terms of profiling the sexual health and relations of our population. As a result, we have experienced a fragmented approach to sexual health policy, education and service provision.

“Now that the results of this survey are in the public domain, some concrete actions are required. Principally, the IFPA is calling for the development and implementation of a national sexual health strategy. Under this strategy, all of the agencies who work in the delivery of sexual health policy, education and services would work together to delivery comprehensive results.

“At present, there is no leadership in the delivery of sexual health policy at a Departmental or HSE level: sexual health barely gets a mention in the Dail or Seanad. This study deserved political debate and action.

“Those who have resisted debate and action on sexual health policy no longer have an excuse. The facts have been laid bare, and show that the Irish population have sexual health needs that are similar to those of our EU neighbours.

“It is time that the gaps in our policy, education and services were dealt with in a comprehensive manner. The IFPA looks forward to being consulted and involved in a national sexual health strategy that should follow from this study,” added Niall Behan.

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