A REPORT ON THE MEETING AT THE TIKO DISTRICT HEALTH SERVICE, CMA HOLTHFORD
On December 3rd 2021, four of our adolescent girls and young women, Luduida Ngon Dora, Christelle Besong and Abate Nalthei, including our project officer and fellow AGYW Thiam Emmanuelle, had a working visit to the Tiko District Health Service, at CMA Holforth, SouthWest, Cameroon. This was as part of the HerVoice: Aloud|Allowed project to support the meaningful engagement of AGYW in HIV processes supported by the HerVoiceFund.
After the project officer introduced the Bodytalk and the adolescent girls and young women to the district medical officer (DMO) Dr Youmbi, the AGYW asked questions on how their health District operates and specific questions pertaining to sexual reproductive health.
Some of the questions were;
- How does the Health District operate and what are its major activities?
- What are the sexual and reproductive health activities they carry out?
- Do they involve adolescent girls and young women in thier activities?
- How do they ensure sexual and reproductive health activities are properly carried out ?
- Who are their partners ?
Answers to all these questions amongst others were given by the DMO and the chief of bureau health (CBH), Mr Samuel Tanjoh. The Tiko district health service operates through the different health facilities in the Tiko health area, provides authorizations for community outreach activities that have been approved by the Regional Delegation of Public health of the Southwest region or from the central level. Also, they mostly intervene in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of community activities, planned by the health facilities or collaborators. They provide the statistics and information on disease events in the health District and also provide manpower, in the form of community relay agents to strengthen community activities when needed. In summary, they mostly carry out and ensure the proper running of community health activities in the Tiko health area.
The main activities carried out daily by the Tiko district health service pertaining to sexual and reproductive health, are
- Prevention of early pregnancies in adolescent girls and young women, through hospital and community health talks
- Family planning
- Prevention and treatment of STIs
- Management of persons living with HIV through dispensation of ARVs, and education on preventive measures to adolescents.
Another important point they talked of was the education of adolescents on gender-based violence and how to seek help when faced with such scenarios. The Tiko District health services’ collaborators are Some NGOs and schools that are in collaboration with them
- MOKOKO foundation
- MAFLEKUMEN health institute in tiko,
- Health facilities in the Tiko health area and the Baptist health services
However, the DMO and CBH outlined that finance is a major challenge in carrying out their functions especially in strengthening community outreach activities because they cannot plan and properly carry out activities on their own. Also, not being able to plan community activities directly, it is difficult to involve youths or reach them as well as seek consent
It was a great exchange with the warm and welcoming district team. They were very open and excited to work with AGYW and were open to signing an MOU to formally include AGYW participation in key district activities.