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Women Fleeing Cameroon Violence Use Moss As Tampons   
 
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15-Apr-2019  
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Women who have fled into the bushes from the conflict in English-speaking regions of Cameroon are using moss squashed into balls as tampons, risking infection.

One 16-year-old explained to BBC Focus on Africa the challenges she is facing since she left her home:

Quote Message: There is no way we can get sanitary towels in the bushes. The nearest town is too far away and it’s not safe to go there. We use rags during our periods and it’s not easy finding pieces of cloth to use. I know it’s dangerous and one can easily get infected."There is no way we can get sanitary towels in the bushes. The nearest town is too far away and it’s not safe to go there. We use rags during our periods and it’s not easy finding pieces of cloth to use. I know it’s dangerous and one can easily get infected."
 
Another woman explained to me what she had been using for the last six months:

Quote Message: Moss plant – it grows on cocoa trees. Our mothers used it in those days when sanitary towels did not exist. You crush it and shape it into a small ball or tampon. Then you insert it deep into your body. This is what I’ve been using for the six months I’ve been in the bush.Moss plant – it grows on cocoa trees. Our mothers used it in those days when sanitary towels did not exist. You crush it and shape it into a small ball or tampon. Then you insert it deep into your body. This is what I’ve been using for the six months I’ve been in the bush.

Health workers strongly warn against this because of the risk of infection.

More than 300,000 people have been forced to flee their homes, according to the International Crisis Group.

Militias began to emerge in 2017 after a security force crackdown on mass protests, led by lawyers in wigs and teachers in suits, over the government's alleged failure to give enough recognition to the English legal and education systems in the North-West and South-West.

The government was accused of relying heavily on people trained in the French legal and educational tradition to work in key posts and generally marginalising Cameroon's English-speaking minority, who make up about 20% of the population.
 
 
Source: BBC
 
 

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