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CAMEROON: FOGLABENCHI "LILY" HARITU

A Word From "African Queens Project" Founder:

I met this phenomenal woman when I was in Ghana representing Tanzania as one of the MILEAD Fellows.  There were about 28 women from different African countries and she didn't necessarily stand out to me at first. In fact, I thought that she was a bit cold as she was really quiet and had this air of sophistication around her. But during our month stay in Ghana, I was literally blown away by this woman as I realized that there was more than meets the eye. As she shared her story with us and I learned of her past and the leaps and bounds she was doing in her home country (Cameroon) I was humbled at the depths of bravery she possessed as she shared how she would travel over rough terrains to patients, sometimes on her own when their was no transportation.  It is my honor to place her among the "African Queens" on this site who have given every part of themselves to advance their causes. Here is her story. 

 

 

Background:

Lily is a trainer, facilitator, and speaker at various workshops and conferences locally and internationally. In September 2011 she represented Cameroon in Addis Ababa as country delegate at the 1st Global Summit for Women’s Cancers in Africa, during which she presented lessons learned from cervical cancer prevention initiatives in Cameroon. She is a board member of the CBCHS’ Maternal and Child Health Management Committee and secretary of the Women’s Health Program Strategic and Management Committees. She is also a 2011 Sexuality Leadership and Development Fellow from the Africa Regional Sexuality Resource Centre-Lagos, Nigeria. She has also received Advanced Level training in counseling and evangelism from the Campus Crusade for Christ Ministry and this enables her to provide holistic faith based health services to the women and girls she serves on a daily basis.

She holds a Bachelor of Nursing Science degree with honours from the University of Buea, Cameroon and Global Health Certificates in Gender, Sexual and Reproductive Health from the Global Health e-Learning Centre Coordinated by USAID and Johns Hopkins University, USA. She is the recipient of the prestigious British government 2012 Chevening Scholarship and is currently enrolled for a Masters in International Public Health (Sexual and Reproductive Health) at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom. She firmly believes that Women’s Health and Safety plays a key role in human development and overall women’s empowerment and therefore hopes to ensure that all women in her community gain access to high level sexual and reproductive health services. During her down time out of health care and church settings.

Her Work:

Foglabenchi Lily Haritu is the Supervisor of the Women’s Health Program (WHP) for the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services (CBCHS), which runs a system of 5 hospitals, 24 integrated health centers and 50 primary health centers, based in six of the ten regions of Cameroon. She is involved in the management of women’s reproductive health services for the entire organization. Prior to this, she served as the Women’s Health Program Coordinator for Banso Baptist Hospital. As a Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) Nurse-Activist in the above positions since 2009, she has been involved in the provision of sexual and reproductive health services to women and girls at fixed and mobile Women’s Health clinics in urban and rural settlements across the country. These services have included but not limited to: Family Planning, Breast and Cervical cancer screening, Syndromic diagnosis and management of Reproductive Tract Infections, HIV Counseling and Testing, Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Comprehensive Abortion Care etc; stretching to remote areas as far as the Equatorial rainforest of Central Africa and the Cameroon-Nigeria border in Abongshie. Her dynamic and innovative efforts have increased women’s access to sexual and reproductive health services in rural Cameroon. This also firmly brought the CBCHS’ Women’s Health Program under the limelight when CORDAID) and their Partners recognized it in 2010 as the best Faith-Based Organization with an outstanding commitment and leadership towards the provision of Sexual and Reproductive Health Services that meet the needs of Women and girls living with HIV and AIDS in the Global South.  Besides her duties in the CBCHS, she coordinates the CBCHS-ProFam (Pro-FamilyPlanning) project under the Cameroon Association for Social Marketing with the overall aim of reducing Maternal Morbidity and Mortality in Cameroon.

Fun Facts: 

Lily enjoys reading, writing, taking photographs between sunrise and sunset, ravelling, visiting her mum in the village, swimming, and surfing the net.