Sexual Reproductive Health Workshop in Kedjom-Keku

July 28th, 2016 by | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Last Sunday, I went with Samuel, one of my work partners, to Kedjom-Keku, a village located about an hour from Bamenda to present Sexual Reproductive Health to 29 persons with disabilities.  Most of the participants were older adults who were illiterate.  This meant that when conducting the pre- and post-tests, we needed to read each question and choices of answers to each persons with disabilities individually.  During the pre-test, Samuel and I together assisted half of the participants with the test while an officer of the disability group assisted the other half.

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After conducting the pre-test, I presented information on Sexual Reproductive Health, which included information about family planning, contraception options, and sexual consent and condom demonstration.  As evident on the pre-tests and also post-tests and from the conversations with the participants, it was clear that for many of them, it was their first time learning about all different contraception options.  Because most did not know grammar English, Samuel took the time to translate what I said after every few sentences.  For example, after talking about the benefits of using an injection, Samuel would then translate and then I speak about the problems of using the injection.  After I spoke about the problems of using the injection, Samuel then translated.

Then, when the presentation was done, the officers of the group relayed to Samuel who then relayed to me that they would like to talk about group’s business matters and asked if they could do the post-test while talking about the business matters.  I said, “No problem.”   Because I needed Samuel to assist me in conducting the post-test, I stood and waited for him for several minutes while he took part in participating in discussing the business matters with the group.  Then when I went to Samuel and asked him when can we conduct the post-tests, he then said “now.”  The next thing I see is several persons with disabilities handing the test to an officer, not the one who assisted in conducting the pre-tests.  I immediately went up and said, “Wait!  Wait!  They need to take the post-tests.”  The officer said that he already helped them complete the post-test.  I then looked at the post-tests, and it was clear that the participants did not take the tests themselves because everyone marked the exact same answers.  I then scolded to the officer, “You cannot take the tests for them.  This is fraud.  This is corruption!  You need to ask each person every question.  You need to let them answer the question.  The answers must come from their own brain!  We need to hand the tests back to them.”

I am not sure how I missed seeing the officer completing the post-test for them.  I must have been distracted and didn’t notice.  We then handed the tests back to everyone who handed in the tests.  Samuel and I then went to each participant individually and asked every question and read every answers.  We let them dictate their own response.  We went to every single person because even though I asked the officer to go back to each of them and ask every question and let them respond on their own, he still didn’t do his job.  So, Samuel and I both went to every single participant to ensure that we get a true and accurate result.  This is what Samuel and I both discovered when we went back to almost every individual to complete the post-test:

The first question was “Family planning affects the health of children.”  The answer choices were “True” and “False.”  The correct answer is “True.”  The officer answered “False” for every participant for whom he took the test.  Meanwhile, when Samuel and I both went back to most of them, they all answered “True.”

Then one of the following question was “Circle all contraception options” and the answers included condom, birth control pill, injection, implants, IUD, exclusive breastfeeding for six months, and abstinence.  The officer circled “condom” and “abstinence” for every participant for whom he took the test.  When Samuel and I went back to most of them, they all said to circle all or most of them.

Then one of the following question was “Have you been forced to have sex?”  The officer circled “no” for all of them.  Meanwhile, when we went back to all women, some of them said, “yes.”

Then for the last questions, “Do you have access to contraception?” and “Do you use any contraception?  If yes, circle which one.” the officer circled “Yes” as if they do have access to conception and circled “Condom” and “Abstinence” for every participant.  Meanwhile, when Samuel and I went back to most of them, almost all of them said they do not have access to any contraception options and do not use any.

Samuel and I had a very good discussion after the workshop about the situation of testing the participants.  I do not know what the officer’s intention was but if his intention was to make his group look good by trying to give all of them 100%, that did not happen because he answered some of the questions incorrectly for all of them.  I explained to Samuel that even if they don’t all get 100% on the post-test, it’s always important to get true and accurate results so that we can see what information they still do not understand so that we can know what we still need to work in helping them improve their knowledge of health.   Even for the questions that were personal and had no right or wrong answer, it was still important to get accurate responses so that we can have a clear understanding of what challenges they are facing so that we can see how we can improve their situation.

After evaluating the tests, the results show that while everyone did poorly on the pre-test, 14 out of 29 scored 100% and additional 6 scored almost all correct, 88% or above.  Then additional 3 scored 72%.  If we had taken the results from the post-test that included the answers selected by the officer who was answering the questions for many of them from his own brain, we would have had many scoring 75%.  Meanwhile, most participants did better than the officer as they scored 100%!

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