Students at the University of Ghana have demonstrated their awareness and openness on the subject of candidiasis as a sexually-transmitted infection, emphasizing on their courage to address and discuss the disease unabashed.
Candidiasis is a a sexually-transmitted infection (STI) that occurs when yeast growth increases in the vagina and produces a thick and white discharge which usually has a foul smell, spoiled milk or a fishy smell.
The symptoms include burning, itching and other irritation around the vagina along with soreness during sex or when urinating.
Over the years, seeking treatment over STIs has been done with shame, as most people tried to avoid what seemed to be shameful comments and stigmatization from society over their conditions. While the infection is nothing to be ashamed of, the stigmatization had become one of the unpleasant reasons to go to the health facility
In an interview with Univers News, students confirmed that stigmatization was no more an issue among the youth, as they had gained deeper information on the infection through various educational channels and social media. According to these students, they are unashamed to seek help when it comes to their reproductive health.
“Gone are the days where people are afraid to go to the hospital to tell the doctor I have candidiasis or an infection but because of education and social media now, we are not so scared to go to hospitals for treatment.”
“Because of social media, most people are not shy to go to the hospital, it’s embarrassing and no one wants that in public.”
Health Expert at the University of Ghana Hospital, Naomi Odonkor shared her thoughts on the development, further advising the youth on how to prevent and manage the symptoms of candidiasis. She also encouraged young people to visit health professionals in seeking treatment for the infection.
“Students should make clear their symptoms clear when they attend the hospital to make it easy for treatment. One can also clean the genital area with mild soap and warm water to reduce the odour in the vagina and stop using douches, scented soaps and hygiene sprays. You can also see a doctor when you realize there is an unusual odour or colour, itching, burning or redness in the vaginal area.”
Candidiasis, commonly known as ‘white’, can be identified by a whitish discharge from the private part of both genders, especially among women. It can also lead to oral thrush.
It is caused by the growth of candida (a specific fungus) out of control in the genitalia. White can be transmitted through sexual intercourse and it’s treated with antibiotics such as oral or topical metronidazole AKA flagyl /flagyl ER or clindamycin AKA cleocin and clindese, which cannot be used concurrently.
Story by : Atiah Eunice Ayinbota | univers.ug.edu.gh