The Centre for Community Regeneration and Development, CCREAD-Cameroon, on April 11 organised a discussion and education forum, comprising young people and their leaders, where they were lectured on sexual reproductive health, their rights, violence against women, as well as abortion.
Under the theme, “girls connected against unsafe abortion and sexual health/ violence” CCREAD in collaboration with Amplify Change, schooled the participants on abortion, when and where it can be permissible, its dangers, and why it should be discouraged. On sexual health, young people were educated on how to manage relationships, handle conflicts in relationships, as well as stigma.
The guest speaker on abortion, Samuel Manyi, cautioned the participants on its dangers, side effects and the legal retribution against those who commit of the act unlawfully. In explaining the various circumstances where the Cameroon penal code gives room for abortion, Mr Samuel warned that they are not in anyway encouraging the act, because a person can still chose not to abort a pregnancy even if the law permits her to do so. He brought the case of rape, citing that many women have gone ahead to have children which they got through rape.
He said the topic is very vital, given the rates of abortions been committed in contemporary times and people do not know how to go about it in relation to legal prescription.
The young people were also lectured on the prevention and elimination of sexual violence against women, by Grace Njoy, on the legal provisions and rights, Lynn Tim, as well as stigma and conflicts in relationships by Madam Eleanor.
On his part, the Director of CCREAD, Hilary Ewang Ngide, called on the young people and youth leaders to spread the knowledge they gained from the forum.
He said their primary objective is to relieve poverty within marginalised communities which is been done through vocational training and education of young people on how to better manage their lives and reduce chances of falling prey to societal ills.
He said their seminar was done in collaboration with Amplify Change, an organisation based in the United Kingdom, with whom they are running a project, “Girls connected against violence on women and against unsafe abortions”, together.
The Director intimated that in the days ahead, they will be organising two marches to move around the Molyko neighbourhood with targeted messages, during which thousand of leaflets will be distributed carrying messages on sexual and reproductive rights, and campaigns against unsafe abortions.
He said their goal will be educate young people on how to prevent unwanted pregnancies, thereby solving the problem of having so many teenage and single mothers around. He said they will as well be educating them against the use of road side clinics that that are responsible for most abortion related deaths.
He regretted that with the law prohibiting abortion, many quacks have popped up in hidden communities and with their lack of training in the medical field, their unprofessional acts often result to the deaths of those committing the abortion.
“We should start a debate to see that if people have to do it, it should be recognised by the law, if not, they should stop doing it because it is resulting to so many deaths” He said, regretting that so many young people are dropping out of school because of unwanted pregnancies and those who don’t want to be stigmatised resorting to abortion. It was revealed that over 50000 women die every in the course of aborting.