The danger of antibiotics resistance is the focus of a one day workshop that took place in Nkwen, Bamenda on the 21st of July 2019. Organized by women’s health forum Bamenda, the workshop provided a platform for participants to discuss the quality of good sanitary pads, and most importantly, how to stay away from the misuse of antibiotics.
Most women and men have the habit of taking antibiotics without prescription. Women take them especially at the end of their menstruation or when they have itches and discharges.
The human body has a bacteria known as Flora, which is not dangerous but rather protects the body against harmful bacteria. Misusing antibiotics makes the genitals more favorable for the growth of bacteria that causes infection. Using chemicals to wash the genitals (Douching) is also dangerous as it produces bacterial vaginosis that increases the risk of preterm labor during pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and Cervical Cancer.
According to Timah Dawuda, a medical laboratory scientist and coordinator of Women’s health forum, when women continuously misuse antibiotics, their system becomes used to it and in the long run, rejects the same treatment.
“Women should stay away from antibiotics by making sure that whenever they have virginal itches or infection, they should see a medical practitioner and do a laboratory test so they get a proper prescription. Without this, they will continue to take the same antibiotic that does not work for them, making it a vicious cycle”.
Genital itches and discharges are caused by different microorganisms. Trichomonas Vaginalis causes Trichomoniasis which is the major cause of what is commonly called (Sugar Sugar). Candidiasis is another microorganism and a fungus that also causes serious itches.
“Antibiotics resistance alone is more dangerous than some infections combined. This is because someone with HIV or Cancer can respond to treatment, but someone whose system is resistant to antibiotics can be killed by any infection“. Says Timah Dawuda
Away from antibiotics, the women talked on ways they can take care of themselves during menstruation and how to purchase good sanitary pads. For example, women should stay away from pads that have perfume – know their menstrual flow so they know which brand to buy.
“Some women bleed more than others so they need to know what type of pad to buy because some are thinner than others. If you are a heavy bleeder, you should go in for a thick pad and make sure not to keep it on for more than 4 hours”. Says Paulette Limnyuy, a student with the University of Bamenda.
Participants also benefitted from the free testing of hepatitis and syphilis.
Talking to Maikem’s dairy, Timah Dawuda says he can assist internally displaced persons by cutting down their laboratory to 80% so that they can get diagnose and get proper treatment.
It should be noted that the Women’s health forum started as a WhatsApp group, aimed at educating its members on health issues and today the forum organizes workshops and free infection testing for the public.
Maikem Emmanuela Manzie