Cameroonian youth need contraceptive services and products to protect their health. Currently, more than one in five young women ages 15 to 19 in Cameroon are already mothers, and 26 percent of births to mothers under age 20 occurred earlier than they preferred. Youth face many barriers in accessing contraceptives—including cost. Contraceptive costs at public health facilities range widely based on method type, and some are cost-prohibitive to youth, who often lack their own source of income or control over finances. This situation makes it difficult for them to access a full range of contraceptive methods.
In response to the cost barrier that youth face, PRB partnered with Femmes Santé et Développement (FESADE) in Cameroon to create a fact sheet and video, Support Our Future: Provide Free Contraceptives for Cameroon’s Youth, that FESADE will use in its advocacy work in-country. The new products ask the Cameroonian Ministry of Public Health to sign a Circular that requires all contraceptive services and products in all public health facilities be provided free to youth ages 15 to 24. The materials also request that the Ministry of Public Health then establish a permanent monitoring mechanism to implement the Circular. If the government makes stronger policy commitments to ensure youth have full access to contraceptives, youth will be better able to protect their health and contribute to Cameroon’s future.