OUTREACH PROGRAM AMONG WOMEN LIVING WITH DISABILITIES IN BAMENDA ON THE 13TH FEBRUARY 2022
The Project Idea?
Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) are not only a crucial part of healthcare but also constitute an essential element for achieving gender equality and promoting women’s rights. They allow women to make autonomous decisions about their bodies and sexuality, and they keep women healthy, dignified, and safe.
Under the current health crisis, COVID-19, coupled with the socio-political situation in Cameroon’s Northwest and Southwest region, many women and girls have become more vulnerable, especially those with disabilities. So leaving no one behind, people with disabilities experience multiple barriers to accessing SRH services.
Awareness campaign on sexual and reproductive health among women living with disabilities in Bamenda.
How the Project was implemented
It was an onsite campaign in the community.
Bamenda, Northwest Region, Cameroon
Number of People Impacted
Global maternal outcomes have worsened with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic leading to an increasing number of maternal deaths. According to the American Medical Association (2022), the maternal mortality rate (MMR) increased during the pandemic by 33.3%. Every day 810 women die from preventable causes of maternal deaths (WHO 2021), and 68% of these maternal deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa. Unsafe abortion is a significant cause of maternal death. According to WHO 2020 report, 6 out of 10 pregnancies (61%) are unintended and result in abortion. Among these, 1 out of 3 is carried out in the least safe or dangerous conditions. Women with disabilities are more vulnerable. They end up with unwanted pregnancies and are exposed to gender-based Violence. Therefore, this program seeks to
- Educate them on their sexual and reproductive health rights.
- Create awareness of the different contraceptive methods
- Educate them on how to prevent gender-based Violence
- Evaluate their challenges and channel to respective authorities regarding SRH services.
Challenges they faced accessing healthcare services.
- Take a lot of time before they consult.
- Health staff should understand that people living with disability also have equal rights to
their sexual health. So, they should talk to them in some respects.
- No adaptable toilets are available for them, thus causing difficulties in using public
restrooms, which can increase their infection rate.
- Introduce an expert in sign language in health facilities.
What specific results did you achieve?
Through this campaign, I educated 30 women living with disabilities. Among these women, six
reported being victims of gender-based Violence. These women were referred to other
organizations to get complete treatment. In addition, three consulted the following week to take a
family planning method. Lastly, we channelled their challenges to the Director of the Regional
Hospital, the region’s main referral hospital. Measures were taken by Director, who educated the
staff to endeavour to consult patients with disabilities early, so they don’t wait for long to get
REPORT ON OUTREACH PROGRAM CARRIED OUT IN BAMBILI ON THE 4TH OF JULY 2021
Pregnancy is a very complicated process and needs a lot of attention because complication can set in at any given moment. The World Health Organization has issued a new series of recommendations to improve quality of antenatal care to reduce the risk of stillbirths and pregnancy complications and give women a positive pregnancy experience. In 2015, an estimated 303 000 women died from pregnancy-related causes and 2.6 million babies were stillborn, half occurring during the third trimester. Many of these adverse outcomes can be prevented by quality healthcare during pregnancy and childbirth.
Secondly as a gateway to a healthy family premarital screening has become one of the best way to prevent the spread of some inherited disorders and some infectious diseases.
-Educate the population on the importance of antenatal consultation
-Increase awareness on the danger signs during pregnancy
-What is premarital screening?
-What are the various tests to done before getting married?
-A total of 50 people were educated and a referral pathway given to them to follow in order to get quality healthcare services.
-Majority were not aware of their genotype (genetic makeup).
-3 people decided to join the team to become volunteers
-As follow up about 10 referred others for health education and proper follow up of pregnancy