END OF PROJECT REPORT:
PROJECT TITLE: Promoting The Effective Use Of Contraceptives Among Adolescent Youth In Yaounde, Cameroon.
FUNDED BY: BECKER/CORDES STIFTUNG
This project was intended to solve the problem of lack of knowledge on the proper use of contraception by young high school girls in Yaounde, Cameroon. To address this issue of lack of knowledge on contraception and its grave consequences on adolescent girls, we had therefore set out to giving educative talks on the effective use of all contraceptive measures and prevention of HIV/AIDS in 5 high schools from January 2020-March 2020 with a goal to reach out to at least 300 young girls/women in Yaoundé. This project was designed towards making young girls to be capable of asserting their reproductive rights; able to realize they have total control over their bodies to choose when and how many children they are willing to have thereby empowering them. This project aimed at serving as an eye opener for first-timers or an encouragement for those already aware, that the possibility for women to control their body means they have a greater opportunity to be ambitious; go to school, build a career and attain financial stability as they will no longer see their roles as mothers but also as contributors to the sustainable development of the society. This project is aligned with the goals set in the Cameroon operational plan for family planning 2015-2020; increase contraceptive prevalence among women of childbearing age from 16.1% to 30%, reduce the unmet need rate from 17% to 10%,to reduce the prevalence of teenage pregnancies aged 15 to 19 from 25.2% to 12.5%,increase contraceptive prevalence among adolescents aged 15 to 19 from 12.1% to 29%.
BENEFICIARY SCHOOLS: CCSS-Nkolmbong, New Century Institute – Nkolfoulu, Ayungha Bilingual Comprehensive High School – Ngousso, Mada International College – Obili, Success International College -Eleveur.
SUMMARY OF COMPLETED PROJECT ACTIVITIES
Activity A: Sexual Reproductive Health Rights Awareness and Education
We organized capacity building workshops with both adolescent girls and boys seated together in same halls within the ear marked schools, illuminating them on their rights to access information on Sexual Reproductive Health Education and facilities. They were equally introduced to the varied forms of contraception including their pros and cons as well as an in-depth education on menstruation / the menstrual cycle and the natural forms of contraception. Beneficiaries were encouraged to always visit nearby family planning units at their disposal which forms part of their inherent rights to a sound mental and physical health for all as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Nevertheless, beneficiaries were all made to understand that as adolescents within the African context, abstinence remains the best option to curb both STIs and unwanted pregnancies.
Activity B: Establishment of Health Clubs In Schools
In each of the beneficiary schools in collaboration with school authorities, we created health clubs made up of some of the enthusiastic participants which would henceforth continue to educate their peers on the concept of sexual reproductive health rights and proper contraception. We signed a memorandum of understanding with each of these schools administrators making them owners of the project to ensure continuity.
Activity C: Education on the Barrier Measures Against COVID-19
The continuation of this project was interrupted by the outbreak of the Corona Virus pandemic plaguing the entire world, with the first cases diagnosed in Cameroon at the end of February 2020, schools were then suspended accompanied by a total lockdown of all activities only to resume at the end of May 2020. With such situation warranting an emergency response we could not remain indifferent. We therefore instead of continuing with education on sexual reproductive health rights, especially as we had surpassed our target beneficiary number in the project, we had to flexibly divert to sensitize students on how to prevent COVID-19 through the proper washing of hands and all other preventive or barrier measures accompanied by the donation of hand washing kits and alcoholic hand sanitizers to the two beneficiary schools in which we carried out the sensitization, thus exhausting the funds and completing this project.
- At least 99.9% of project beneficiaries now understand their sexual reproductive health rights and the use of contraception.
- All three beneficiary schools visited now have health clubs established with a prime purpose of discussing and disseminating messages on sexual reproductive health rights.
- At least 80% of the beneficiary students would now visit the family planning unit with no fear of rejection and get appropriate health care.
- Beneficiary students are 99% safe from the spread of the COVID-19 having received proper education on the barrier measures as well as material donations to stop the spread of this pandemic in the school milieu.
VARIANCE BETWEEN EXPECTED RESULTS AND ACTUAL RESULTS
- Instead of 300 students we initially intended, we reached close to 800 students.
- Instead of educating just girls/women, we educated boys and men as well so they can be motivators and champions for girls to use contraception’s.
- Though we set out preliminarily to educate on sexual reproductive health rights of adolescents, we ended up educating on Coronavirus (COVID-19) given the emergency circumstances that warrants rapid response to save lives.
ADVOCACY AND VISIBILITY RESULTS
Through the use of our social media outlets (Facebook; Twitter; Instagram; and website), this project reached and impacted the lives of over 20,000 people both nationally and internationally.
AZAH JACKLINE CHEY
Bridgers Association Cameroon