About 30 PLWDs benefited from educative talks on
Family Planning, in a forum organized by RuWCED in partnership with Special Needs Entrepreneur Group (SNEG-MC) last August 4, 2019, in Bamenda.
David Ayim, a reproductive health expert, extended to other topics related to family planning such as sex education and contraceptives. After listening to the talk which lasted for close to three hours, participants expressed their joy for being part of the forum.
According to one of the participants, Gerald Kidonti, the talk had broadened his understanding of the various contraceptives that exist and how he could approach his partner for sex. Balewa Sylvie, a member of the special need entrepreneur explained that some of these PLWDs knew little or nothing on the topics discussed and that the education was very important for them.
According to the Coordinator for RuWCED-Bamenda, Akuro Forsab, “There was dire need to reach out to them with the talk because they are often excluded or cutoff from the society and thus have little knowledge on the topics.”
The reproductive health expert, David Ayim, later pointed out that PLWDs face several challenges as far as sexual and reproductive health is concerned. These include but not limited to their various disabilities as well as stigmatization within their communities. He then called on the population to support them in any way they can, bearing in mind that disability does not necessarily mean inability. While appreciating the initiative of RuWCED, he ended up by encouraging such forums to be organized in other areas/communities so that others can also benefit from it.
Reactions from Participants
Abimweh Zita: “I learned a lot of things during the meeting; How to protect yourself from contracting any STDs, how to space your children and how to build up your family to make everyone happy. I learned from the reproductive health expert how I can live happily with my partner. With the knowledge I’ve gotten from the talk today, I will be able to teach my sisters and my close friends how to build up a happy family, how to control their sex life, and how they can take care of themselves and their family.”
Nde Vitalis: “The talk was really enriching. Although I knew some of the things discussed, I’ve been enlightened and reminded of some of the things I forgot especially the differences between family planning and contraception methods. Now, I know how to handle both. From the talk, I now know how to control myself first, and what to use during sexual-intercourse as contraceptives.”
Gerald Kidonti: “The doctor has made me to understand many things I didn’t know before, like preventing pregnancy even after having sex. With my current partner, there are times I ask her for sex and she refuses but with the talk of today, I will be able to introduce some of these contraceptive methods to her. I will be able to enjoy sex with her when I want. I also learned about blood groups and how important it is to check my blood group with that of my partner before getting married so that we won’t give birth to children with sickle cell. So, I am very happy with the knowledge I’ve gotten today especially as I know that anytime I have sex with my girl, it does not necessarily mean that she will get pregnant.”
Nduta Sylvie: “Before coming here today, I knew little about family planning but the doctor has explained it more and I know it better now. I have also learned how to be with my partner and enjoy sex at any time. This talk has helped me a lot as I will be able to teach my children who are growing up so that they will know how to go about these things when the time comes.”
Balewa Sylvie: “However the lesson was also beneficial to me though I already know most of these things because I usually attend seminars and conferences that talk about these things. I for one practice natural contraceptive method but today, the doctor made me understand that there are other methods one can use to prevent pregnancy. I just pray that more of such talks should be organized to educate us.”
David Ayim, Reproductive Health Expert: “I let them know today that family planning is knowledge acquisition on making a family to be satisfactory. I let them understand that if you have all the knowledge, what it takes to even chose a partner to marry, what it takes even to look for children then it means you know about family planning contrary to what people think that family planning is how to prevent pregnancy. Iexplained to the participants that family planning is how to look for pregnancy, and determine the number of children you want to have. From there, I went into contraceptive methods which are the different ways to prevent pregnancy and have a happy marriage life. When you have a baby, does it mean you have to wait for the next 3years before you have sex with your wife/husband? I say NO. You have the right to have sex with your wife/husband anytime and any day of your choice provided you know how to prevent pregnancy.
With just the fact that the participants have different types of disabilities is already a challenge as far as SRH is concern. Some are unable to talk and thus find it difficult to express themselves. Even those with physical disabilities who cannot move well have the feeling that people stigmatize them. People think that they cannot enjoy sex. We therefore need to let them know that we support them and their efforts financially, morally and physically. If I had the means, I will get into the community and train others to know what it takes to give the knowledge out, so that more people could be educated.”