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Making a difference as a champion in his community: breaking the silence, ending abortion stigma in Cameroon, September 28, 2013

Gwewasang Che Martin - Adele Reproductive Health Foundation Clinical Training Center for Family Planning, Cameroon 

by Lynn Gertiser

Making a difference as a champion in his community: breaking the silence, ending abortion stigma in Cameroon, September 28, 2013 - Gwewasang Che Martin

A meeting to collect Women’s opinions about Abortion Laws in Cameroon

Gwewasang C. Martin was appointed focal person for Africa’s September 28 Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion campaign in Cameroon, by The Reproductive Health and Rights Alliance (RHRA) in August 2013. The RHRA was formed in 2004 by a group of medical, legal, women's and human rights advocates with an aim of towards the prevention and reduction of the high maternal deaths and disabilities caused by unsafe abortion.

In prelude to the Sept 28, 2013 run-up campaigns, Gwewasang organized his first activity by conducting a survey at the “Clinical Training Center for Family Planning” (CTCFP) – September 1 to 25, and the results were announced to the safe abortion forum on Sept 28, 2013. The activity was conducted to raise public awareness on abortion and to make abortion related problems that African women are facing visible in Cameroon. The results of the survey generated evidence that Gwewasang shall use to guide policy decisions to overcome barriers in shaping legal abortion provision and implementation in Cameroon.

Over 100 women and men participated in the survey and shared experiences and knowledge of the grassroots realities that will inform and guide policy. More than 60 emails and SMS text messages were also sent out to make the September 2013 Day of Action for Women's Rights to Safe and Legal Abortion a great success in Cameroon.

The Ministry of Public Health has recognized Reproductive health, in no small part because of Gwewasang’s actions. In 2012 he created a CTCFP in Mambanda in Douala, where he wants to recruit and train professionals who are interested in promoting reproductive health and rights programs in Sub-Saharan Africa.