Sexual Reproductive Health & Rights

the problem

Sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) is based on the notion that all people, including key and vulnerable populations, have the right to make their own free and informed decisions regarding their sexual and reproductive health. Unfortunately, this is not always the case in Cameroon.

In terms of supportive laws and policies, a 2021 report on the SRHR status of Cameroon found that there were laws criminalisng same-sex sexual behaviour and sex work, as well as safe abortion, with the only exceptions being in the case of rape and to save the women’s life. Reproductive health was also lacking, with just 15% of women aged 15-49 using modern contraceptive methods, and only 69.4% of pregnant women being tested for HIV. Sexual health was more promising, but still inadequate, as neither men or women had reached the 95-95-95 testing and treatment cascade targets for HIV (though women performed considerably better than men). Lastly, HIV prevalence was substantially higher in key populations than in the general population.

the solution
  • Laws and policy supporting all people to make their own free and informed decisions regarding their sexual and reproductive health.
  • Access to adequate sexual and reproductive health care, as part of universal coverage of essential health services.
  • Knowledge of safe sexual and reproductive practices as well as knowledge of individual rights regarding these topics.
  • Targeted sexual and reproductive health and rights services for key and vulnerable populations.
our ongoing efforts
  • Community engagement regarding the topic of SRHR to increase knowledge and positively change attitudes, to facilitate eventual policy changes.
  • Distribution of menstrual cups, combined with educational explanations, to improve female reproductive health.
  • Distribution of condoms in communities, combined with demonstrations of correct usage with artificial genitalia.
  • HIV testing and linkage to treatment in communities identified as being at high-risk.
challenges

We lack the financial funds to implement our SRHR programme to its maximum capacity, resulting in unfortunate losses in the overall impact of the program. Whilst our ongoing efforts are creating a visible impact within the communities we reach, with greater financial resources, we can do more. We could engage with more communities, including those particularly isolated and therefore less able to access SRHR services. We could also increase our distribution of items to improve SRHR such as menstrual cups, condoms and HIV testing and treatment kits.

 

References: WHO Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Infographic Snapshot Cameroon 2021

All children, adolescents and young people have the right to make their own free and informed choices and to have control over their sexual and reproductive health and lives, free from coercion, violence, discrimination and abuse.
PLAN International

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