Children with disabilities are not left out in the CBC Health Services’ intentional moves in bringing health care and inclusive involvement to persons with disabilities. To bridge the knowledge gap and access to basic sexual and reproductive health services among children and adults with disabilities, the Children Momentum Project organized a sensitization and screening session just for them recently. The event held at the Nkwen Baptist Hospital Chapel on April 26, 2023, aimed at educating the children on their sexual and reproductive health rights and carrying out screening for HIV.
Turning up for the session with their caregivers or parents were children with cerebral palsy, physical handicaps, visual impairments, and hearing impairments. They were separated into groups for discussions, the parents/caregivers on one side and the children on another. This was to enable the children to freely express their thoughts without the scrutinizing eyes of their caregivers. The educative talk on HIV was led by Mme Yawah Winifred, Coordinator of the Treatment Center, while Sexual and Reproductive Health was tackled by Mr. Djodzeven Divine, Sexual Reproductive Health Officer for the CBCHS.
The guardians were taught on how to properly communicate sexual and reproductive health issues with their dependents. Many of them admitted of having reservations about the subject as it was generally an uncomfortable topic. The fish bowl exercise gave them an opportunity to express their fears for the children.
At the close of the discussions with the children, voluntary screening with consent from the guardians was carried out, with them acknowledging the usefulness of the information received, and how their mindsets have been transformed.