The LGBTI advocacy group Alternatives-Cameroon has organized specialized sessions for doctors in need of training in how to treat LGBTI patients, in particular patients at community centers who need proctology services.
By Steeves Winner
The level of homophobia in Cameroon is often an obstacle that LGBTI people encounter when they need health care.
An additional challenge for many LGBTI patients is treatment for genital warts or tears in the anal margin.
That is on top of the major problem of HIV / AIDS. Nationwide, the prevalence of HIV infections is 3.4% in the general population, but 25.7% among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Douala and 45% among MSM in Yaoundé.
According to health surveys, painful urination affects 12% of the MSM population while genital and anal lesions affect 9.0%.
To confront these challenges, Alternatives-Cameroon organized training sessions for doctors who work in community health centers with a particular focus on proctology care for MSM patients.
Alternatives-Cameroon is one of the country’s oldest organizations in the struggle against HIV / AIDS and for LGBTI people’s human rights.
The training sessions were held in Yaoundé for five days, covering the fight against discrimination as well as medical diagnoses.
Alternatives-Cameroon stated that, although the sessions were successful, doctors are still confronted with obstacles that limit their ability to serve LGBTI patients. In particular, they lack adequate equipment and supplies.
Alternatives-Cameroon is seeking 15 million CFA francs (U.S. $25,000) for consultation beds and stools, electric scalpels, cold lamps, autoclaves, metal anuscopes, Aniospray disinfectant and Xylocaine anesthetic.
Steeves Winner, the author of this article, is an LGBTI rights activist in Cameroon who writes under a pseudonym. Contact him at email@example.com.