For the last two weeks I’ve been doing a health teaching before prentals on sexually transmitted diseases. On the first day, I discussed it beforehand with my translator to see if I had to be culturally sensitive about any of the issues.
When I told him I was going to teach on STDs he cocked his head to one side and said, “But… there are no STDs in Sudan.” Dead silence.
Then it was my turn to be confused. I too cocked my head to one side and said, “Huh? Of course there are STDs. People have sex here don’t they?”
He shrugged as if to say I was wasting my time but agreed to translate for me all the same. So I forged ahead and taught them the signs and symptoms of the most common STDs, as well as the consequences of them.
Funny thing but over the last two weeks I’ve had a half dozen women tell me they have those symptoms… some have had them for years. They’ve been treated and have even brought their husbands in as well!
However, I’m pretty sure my translator no longer thinks Sudan is STD free zone.