Mbencho Andrew Millan

Mbencho Andrew Millan - 2016 Nominee
Position: Executive Director/Medical Doctor
Organization: Youth Health International
Directed a project that reached out to adolescent girls at risk for early marriage. Coordinator of school-based reproductive health programs in 325 schools. Youth Reproductive health clinic director – Baye Leinyuy Bongla, Executive Director at ZOE-MED Organization
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

i am an adolescent and youth SRHR advocate with a strong passion towards improving family planning for young people. I have organized advocacy sessions with policy-makers to advocate for the SRHR of young people. Trained as a medical doctor, i work in a clinic and i am responsible to provide FP services. I have succeeded to carry out a project in three communities in the North West Region of Cameroon involving person with disabilities on their SRHR. While with adolescent students, i am currently executing a project in the entire North West Region of Cameroon to reach out to 70,000 adolescent students in secondary schools with SRHR information. I also had the privilege of representing Youth Health International in ICFP 2016 and to moderate sessions during the conference.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

Few years ago, while i was a medical student, i consulted very young girls with unwanted pregnancies because they lacked information on the use of contraceptives since talking about family planning is highly regarded as a taboo in our society. Most of these pregnancies ended up in unsafe abortions and in some cases these young girls lose their lives. i had a great passion to start educating young people on family planning and help women and girls decide if, when, and where to become pregnant.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your family planning efforts, and what have you done to overcome it?

The biggest challenge i faced was using the words "FAMILY PLANNING" when training young unmarried adolescents and youths who did not think that it concerns them and that it was something only necessary for married people. However, i made them understand the right meaning of the words and that even as unmarried young people, they still have a responsibility to start planning for their future families and every decision they make today could affect their families in the future.

What is your (country/region/city)’s biggest challenge in family planning, and how can it be addressed?

Myths, Misconceptions and Fear especially that contraception causes infertility. Also, family planning is still a big taboo as young people in Cameroon generally appeared uneasy about their sexuality, having feelings of anxiety, shame, and guilt which often accompanied their sexual experiences. By educating young people through training sessions, they will receive accurate information and training, and the opportunity to make the right decisions.

What do you want to accomplish in the next 5 years?

-Engage in the fulfillment of FP2020 vision by Increasing access to and use of contraceptives among young people in Cameroon through advocacy sessions involving policy-makers, peer educators training sessions, school-based and community-based programs.
-Involve traditional rulers and religious leaders in the promotion of family planning
-Help Youth Health International grow into an internationally recognize organization to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people.

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