Sexuality, gender, pregnancy, STDs, relationship and sex all need to be discussed in schools as a means of reducing unexpected pregnancies and unsafe abortion among young girls and women in Cameroon. It is at this background that the Rural Women Center for Education and Development (RUWCED), a Non-Governmental organization in the NW region, recommends that sex education should be a whole school approach and address in school cultures, policies and procedures.
To strengthen their case, RUWCED has trained stakeholders in the health sector on the importance of sex education in schools, full extend of abortion services provided by the national law and capacity building on the provision of non judgmental post abortion care. This was during a series of workshops organized by RUWCED for medical doctors (trained on the 13th of Nov at RuWCED’s office), close to 40 nurses (trained on the 14th of Nov). On the 15th of November more than 20 Journalists, over 10 school counselors, 10 religious youth leaders, joined the medical doctors and nurses for the training in Bamenda.
Barrister Fonsoh Germine, an SRHR advocate and facilitator, schooled the stakeholders on the extend to which the law permits abortion in Cameroon during a working session.
“There are only two instances to which the law permits abortion. The first instance is if the pregnancy is a threat to the life of the mother and if the pregnancy is a result of rape. This is applicable after a series of legal and medical procedure to prove that the lady was raped, “ she added.
To Ndah Grace, a nurse and facilitator, every parent should educate the child and broaden her mind on their sexuality. This will go a long way to reduce the rate of unwanted pregnancies and the spread of STDs among youths.
Regardless of the law against abortion in Cameroon, unsafe abortion is rampant as many young girls and women are unaware of healthy relationships, safe sex and contraceptives. To promote safe abortion and proper care of complications resulting from unsafe abortions, RUWCED offered Manual vacuum Aspirators to the four health districts.
Leboh Samuel, coordinator of RUWCED says the machine helps in cleaning the womb after an abortion.
“It will also help reduce the pain felt by women during post abortion, “ he said.
RUWCED works to promote health, education, livelihoods and human rights of rural women and children.
By Maikem Emmanuela Manzie