By: Vorn Makara
DO you know who Dr Love is? If you don’t know, just type http://www.healthandlove.org, then just click on the Dr Love button and you will get advice or solutions to health and love problems.
Dr Love belongs to the Friend-International organisation, which is a group of experts on mental and physical health who answer questions sent in by visitors to the website. Its purpose is to inform people about reproductive health and health security of youth and children – how to avoid getting HIV, STDs and using drugs. Anyone can post questions on the website and get the answers three to five days later.
Sok Sakoeun, a ChildSafe online officer who graduated in information technology, is responsible for responding to questions posted on the Dr Love website. He has been trained in reproductive health, on youth and children and drug problems by experts of the Friend-International organisation.
Before answering any questions, Sok Sakoeun always sends the questions to experts such as Marie Stopes Cambodia Organisation, Rack Clinic and Pharmaciens sans Frontiere, which are the partners in Dr Love.
“If I get new question, I will send it to the experts. If that question is about love, I will send it to psychological experts, but if it is about abortion, I will send it to the Marie Stopes clinic,” he said. He added that he answers questions he knows about himself and doesn’t have to send them to the experts. He will create an article about those questions and post it on the website if it is a generally-want-to-know question.
To strengthen the staffs’ knowledge of health problems, International-Friend organisation always provides refreshment training.
Dr Love is popular with people aged from 25 to 30. On average, Dr Love gets three questions from visitors per day. Some 60 percent to 70 percent are youths and 25 percent female, aged from 16-24. They use email to ask about abortion, contraception, pregnancy, HIV and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Dr Love was created in 2006 because research discovered that young Cambodians are shy to talk about reproductive health issues like HIV, STDS or other problems with their family and friends.
“I think that creating a website is more effective than other tools because I have already discussed issues with experts before posting. I think if I answer the questions by phone, it requires many experts because their topics can be different from each other,” said Sok Sakoeun, who added that answering questions on the phone does not allow for proper research.
In the middle of this year, Dr Love plans to start a live radio programme on the health and love website in order to extend people’s knowledge on health and love. Sok Sakoeun said everyone should try to understand more about their health.
“Young females should find out and understand reproductive health openly. Don’t be shy,” he added.
http://www.healthandlove.org is the first sex education website made by young Cambodians for young Cambodians. It provides an attractive and accurate source of information on reproductive health and relationships and other topics related to sex. Topics include abortion, for boys, for girls, drugs, love relationships, contraception, healthy sex, AIDS and STDs.