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Medical students head to prison

Tuesday 6 October 2015 8:54am

Christchurch medical students practice one of their dances.

Medical students at the University’s Christchurch campus are using song to share safe sex messages with prison inmates.

A group of fourth year students recently visited Christchurch Men's Prison youth unit to run an interactive safer sex education session. It included songs and dances they created.

The innovative assignment, named ‘Sex, Bugs and Rock’n’Roll’, was developed by the Christchurch campus’ Department of Population Health with help from haematologist and ‘singing lecturer’ Dr Sean Macpherson.

The recent session was the fifth time Christchurch-based medical students have visited prisons. Fifth and fourth year student groups have been to Christchurch Women’s Prison, and also performed for city road workers, bar patrons, young parents, and students in alternate education.

Department of Population Health Senior Lecturer Jen Desrosiers says the project has allowed meaningful interactions between students and inmates that their feedback suggests helps both groups feel more comfortable talking about sexual health issues.

She says collaborations with the Canterbury District Health Board and Corrections have been essential to the project’s success.

To watch videos of the student’s performances: