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Returned IV Campaigns on Health Issues for Women and Girls in Far North Region of Cameroon
In September 2011, a Community Initiative Group of Garoua in the Far North Region of Cameroon, through its leader, returned International Visitor Simone Ekanga Nkouanjio, received a Young African Women Leaders (YAWL) grant from the Department of State. The grant was awarded to organize an awareness drive among 600 women and girls on malaria, cholera and HIV/AIDS in Guider and Lagdo, the Far North Region of Cameroon. The first campaign held in Lagdo from November 18 - 19, 2011 in the Municipal Council multipurpose room. The second campaign held in Guider from November 25- 26, 2011 at the Center for the Promotion of the Woman and Family and the Guider market. These programs heightened awareness on malaria, cholera and HIV/AIDS. 100% of individuals who tested HIV-positive were referred to a public health structure, which agreed to follow up these individuals as part of the post-campaign.
Although the project originally targeted 600 women and young girls in Lagdo and Guider, the team went beyond and above their expectations, reaching 707 women and young girls, as well as 398 men. In all, 1105 individuals were sensitized and 1088 screened for HIV/AIDS. Through participants’ testimonies, these awareness campaigns broke traditional barriers and taboos and empowered young girls, women and men to talk about malaria, cholera, and HIV/AIDS. The women also learned how to set up mosquito nets, how to use condoms properly, and how to mix oral rehydration salts at home as a first aid measures to combat cholera. Based on the positive results of the campaign, the members of GIC FEPES would like to replicate this initiative if possible, in other areas of the northern regions.