Press Release Press Release Press Release

10 OCTOBER 2000

'VIRGIN' ADS "A WASTE OF MONEY", SAY HEALTH VISITORS
& SCHOOL NURSES

Reports that the government is planning an expensive advertising campaign to ensure that teenage girls remain virgins has been branded as " a waste of money" by the country's health visitors and school nurses.

The Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association, which has 18,000 members, wants the money spent on boosting the school nurse workforce as the best way of preventing teenage pregnancy.

The CPHVA Professional Officer for School Nursing and Public Health, Pat Jackson said that such an advertising campaign not only was a waste of money, but also would send out mixed messages.

She said: "The CPHVA is all in favour of reducing the teenage pregnancy rate, which is the worst in Europe, however throwing millions of pounds at the problem with glossy adverts is not the way."

"Evidence exists that school nurses do play an important role in reducing teenage pregnancies. We need a school nurse in every secondary school, which is not the case at the moment."

"There appears to be mixed messages coming from government. While girls are being told to remain virgins, boys are being urged to use condoms. There appears to be confusion here and this proposal could be construed as sexist."

The CPHVA is due to launch a new blueprint for school nursing this week that calls on the government to increase the number of school nurses by 20%, from the present 2,500 - in a bid to cut teenage pregnancy rates and slashing the drug, alcohol and smoking problems among school children.

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NOTE FOR NEWS DESKS

For further information, please contact

Shaun Noble, Press Officer

Tel:

(020) 7939 7043

0468 69 39 40 (mobile)

CPHVA press releases can be seen on the CPHVA web site: www.msfcphva.org

The CPHVA is an autonomous professional section of the Manufacturing, Science and Finance union. The CPHVA represents 18,000 health visitors, school nurses, practice nurses and registered nurses working in the community in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.


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