Cameroon – Ndom care groups

Films screenings in Ndom care group and education centre for 

Until recently Ludi Nsimba was a Peace Corps volunteer focusing on community health education in the village of Ndom, South-West of Cameroon. Together with local peer educator, Matilda Mbone, she set up an education centre at the local health clinic, serving a population of 4,475. The nearest hospital was nearly one and a half hours drive from Ndom and by showing our films, the centre shares vital health information with more than nine villages. Ludi and Matilda also established a care group and ran sessions that helped vulnerable women and their families address both economic and health challenges.

‘The films were very helpful in running these sessions. We needed something to add flavour and interest to the discussions – the women also found it inspiring to see other women addressing the same issues that they were discussing”.

One of the challenges to safe pregnancy and labour in the area is the fact that many women only attend ante-natal clinics later in their pregnancy. This creates delays in getting any necessary treatment or support and presents risks to the health of both mother and baby. Ludi tells the story of a young pregnant woman who had visited the education centre to see the films. After she had watched our film on focused antenatal care the young woman spoke up.

“Until now I did not understand the importance of attending antenatal clinics before giving birth. I didn’t go to the clinic during my last pregnancy and I lost the baby. I am now pregnant again and I am going to attend the clinic. Can I take copies of the film home to my husband because he too needs to understand this?”

Ludi also used our films to discuss puberty, relationships and sex with students in the local school.

“Many young people find it difficult to talk to their parents or older people about puberty and issues around sex. The ‘Growing Up’ film showed the physical and emotional changes around adolescence and helped the young people to discuss puberty and get answers to questions they were too embarrassed to ask adults”.

Ludi went on to produce a film herself about the work in Ndom and among other things, she promotes a legacy of accessible and locally relevant films in the education centre that peer educators will use to help local communities lead healthier lives.