NEWS AND HEALTH UPDATES

What we do

What we do:
ARHF has been able to support and strengthen the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) agenda especially for the most marginalized and most vulnerable women in the targeted areas. This modality enables joint strategic planning and evidence-based advocacy on government commitments to bring about real changes in the lives of women, young people, their families and communities. It has created new advocacy opportunities that heighten the demand for better health

In summary:

1.We work towards improving the state of health care Providers’ education nationally by training multiple levels of providers who want more education in reproductive health/Family Planning (RH/FP). These providers will help support the rights of all people to affordable, accurate, and unbiased information on contraceptive methods that can help them achieve their reproductive preferences.

2. We promote women’s health by increasing access to health information, basic reproductive health services and training.

3. we provide contraceptives methods and reproductive health essential medicines and information strictly on the basis of voluntary informed choice, and neither endorsed nor engaged in coercion practices in the promotion of acceptance of family planning methods

4. We ensure the maintenance of satisfactory standards in the delivery of the association’s FP training and services

5. Building strong and effective partnerships and networks

 99% of our work is self-funded, 1% by foundations, partners, and volunteers.

In details: 

Governance and accountability.
* maternal health: Looking at pregnancy and childbirth-related mortality and morbidity indicators, we advocate for a context-specific rights-based continuum of quality care (CQC) for reproductive health. Cameroon is making progress in reducing mortality and increasing coverage of effective health interventions. Complications relating to pregnancy and childbirth, however, continue to remain leading causes of mortality for women of reproductive age in Cameroon. The irony of these premature maternal deaths and disabilities is that most maternal deaths are avoidable, as the health care solutions to prevent and manage these complications are well known.

* Contraception
We promote women and men to use contraceptives, Unmet Need for Contraception, Non Use of Contraception and Emergency Contraception. We believe that contraception is not only an issue of access to health services but of women being able to decide on the number, timing and spacing of the children they bear. The political will of the state is crucial to prevent maternal mortality and morbidity, which violates a woman’s right to life. Safe pregnancy is essential to every woman’s right to life and dignified well-being. Ensuring access to a full-range of contraceptive methods will help shift focus to women’s needs. The low numbers of male sterilization and condom use reflect gender power imbalance of both pregnancy prevention and disease prevention. Cultural and gender norms about roles and values of men and women in sexual relationships and perceptions about male and female sexuality all play a key role in these low rates. It may also be important to remember that the DHS deals with married women and condom use within a marriage may also signify a lack of trust between partners, and hence, has a different value associated with it in the responses that women may have given to their surveyors. Male involvement, as equal partners, in decision-making on reproduction needs to be encouraged

* Safe abortion
Cameroon is one of the countries with restrictive abortion laws. So it is important to look at how people and organisations are working to amend these laws as clearly mentioned in the Beijing Platform for Action. Advocacy is almost the only means whereby abortion laws, policy and practice in Cameroon can be changed and have been facilitating the sharing of experiences among concerned and committed people and organisations through our various partnerships. Although access to safe abortion services has been proven to be linked to a lower incidence of unsafe abortion (and lower percentages of maternal deaths due to unsafe abortion), progress on amending laws seems slow.

* Reproductive cancers
As interventions on reproductive cancers are considered more costly than those for contraception or maternal health, there is a greater struggle in establishing women’s rights to access preventive and curative services. Additionally, unequal socio-economic situations coupled with socio-cultural barriers and poor or inadequate health care infrastructures impede the prevention, treatment and care of reproductive cancers. Although a number of countries are showing commitments towards screening and the prevention of cervical cancer, it needs to be emphasized that the scarcity of data and low level of priority towards breast cancer and ovarian cancer is worrying. There needs to be a more systematic and in-depth data collection on these two cancers in order to raise awareness and provide health care which includes screening, treatment and cure. Early screening can go a long way in reducing the incidence and mortality from cervical and breast cancers and health systems in respective countries in the region have to be geared to put in place effective prevention strategies, early detection, which comprise of diagnosis, screening including cervical cancer screening, HPV testing, mammography screening, treatment and palliative care. Therefore, population-based data on cancer incidence and mortality become the starting point for any intervention, and countries need to start collecting this information.

* HIV/ AIDS
As interventions on reproductive cancers are considered more costly than those for contraception or maternal health, there is a greater struggle in establishing women’s rights to access preventive and curative services. Additionally, unequal socio-economic situations coupled with socio-cultural barriers and poor or inadequate health care infrastructures impede the prevention, treatment and care of reproductive cancers. Although a number of countries are showing commitments towards screening and the prevention of cervical cancer, it needs to be emphasized that the scarcity of data and low level of priority towards breast cancer and ovarian cancer is worrying. There needs to be a more systematic and in-depth data collection on these two cancers in order to raise awareness and provide health care which includes screening, treatment and cure. Early screening can go a long way in reducing the incidence and mortality from cervical and breast cancers and health systems in respective countries in the region have to be geared to put in place effective prevention strategies, early detection, which comprise of diagnosis, screening including cervical cancer screening, HPV testing, mammography screening, treatment and palliative care. Therefore, population-based data on cancer incidence and mortality become the starting point for any intervention, and countries need to start collecting this information.

* Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE)
ARHF, particularly through the Women’s Health and Rights Advocacy Partnership with CAMNAFW and other organisations advocates for rights-based, non-discriminatory, evidence-based and youth-friendly comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) that recognizes and caters to the evolving capacities of young people. Recently, ARHF launched a mobile app titled SAFE (Sexuality Awareness for Everyone), a knowledge source on sexuality awareness. It is clear from the lack of provision of education, information, and services to young people who are in dire need of these, that governments in the region are hesitant to recognize the role of sexuality beyond its function in reproduction. Despite its benefits that extend to many areas of decision- making and confidence building among adolescents, CSE is still a distant aspiration in Cameroon. The existing interpretation of sex/sexuality education emphasizes, in most cases, on biology rather than health and rights.

* Young people
The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Civic education partnership has been working through capacity building, evidence generation and partnership to address the issues of young people’s SRHR. We recognize the close inter-linkages between young people’s SRHR and other issues that affect them such as unemployment, education, etc. and have mobilized young people around various national and global events. They are in-school and out of school, migrants, workers in the formal and informal sectors, and unemployed, from rural and from urban areas. They are of diverse sexualities and gender identities, they live with HIV, they are sex workers, and they have disabilities. They are young girls and boys who have limited access to education due to many contributing factors. They face multiple challenges, such as poverty, migration, education, employment and health that intersect with harmful traditional and cultural norms. Therefore, the needs and rights of this large subgroup

* International and regional processes
The WHRAP-SEA partnership (http://srhr4youth.org) has been working through capacity building, evidence generation and partnership to address the issues of young people’s SRHR and the Global South Youth partnership has been monitoring and reviewing the status of young people’s SRHR. We recognize the close inter-linkages between young people’s SRHR and other issues that affect them such as unemployment, education, etc. and have mobilized young people around various international events.

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