The 2017 Commonwealth Day which had as theme, “A Peace-building Commonwealth” was observed across facilities of the CBC Health Services March 16, 2017 with a tilt on more disability inclusiveness. In Bamenda, staff of the Socio-Economic Empowerment of Persons With Disability (SEEPD) program joined with others from Nkwen Baptist Health Center to school the attendees on topics such as cervical cancer, HIV and other diseases.
The brief but rich ceremony which held at the Baptist Center basketball court started with SEEPD Program Manager, Awa Jacques Chirac reading the Director of Health Services’ speech in which the DHS enjoined all in society to be more respectful and tolerant of persons with disability. Mr. Awa representing the DHS read “…The CBC Health Services has been recognized nationally and internationally as a peace advocate occupying frontline positions in the fight against all forms of violence against women and persons with disabilities… The CBC Health Services ensures that everyone has equal opportunity in access to services, as well as in expressing and using their potential, irrespective of sex, age, disability, race, color, class, religion or ethnic background…”
There were presentations from the Women’s Health Program on cervical cancer with emphasis on the fact that it is preventable and women who are married stand a good chance of not contracting it if they shun sexual promiscuity. This was followed by a presentation on family planning and the various options available to women and an explanation as to why they need family planning.
HIV which is still a burning issue was not left out. Youth Network for Health (YONEFOH) represented by Mrs. Boyo Maurine spoke on the disease stressing that the only way for one to know whether or not they have it is by going for a test and that those who test negative should go for a confirmation test after 3 months and do their test at least every six months. She also touched on Human Papiloma Virus (HPV) and reminded her audience that being HIV positive does not mean you are dying tomorrow but it simply calls on the concerned to start and strictly follow their treatment.
Prior to both presentations, Peter Yungsi talked briefly on partner notification stressing that partner notification is especially necessary to minimize violence against HIV infected persons especially women whose spouses may not take kindly the news that their wife/partner is infected.
The ceremony ended with free screening for HIV and cervical cancer.
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