Cameroon: Three Adolescents Operated On After Injecting Maggie In Butts For Enlargement

By Synthia Lateu

In Cameroon, several youths are engaged in other artificial activities, they deem to be of beauty standard

Three secondary school girls aged 14 to 16 are responding to treatment in the Bafia district hospital, Center Region of Cameroon following the swollen and deteriorating condition of their buttocks, resulting from a failed attempt to enlarge them with a Maggie injection.

The young girls explained that they made a mixture of a half-seasoning Maggie cube, drew it up into a single syringe and injected it into their buttocks turn after turn, upon advice from a classmate.

Speaking after the operation, the medical doctor at the Bafia district hospital Dr Soule Yamen said the children suffered from a deep gluteal abscess and 500 Milliliters of pus has been removed from each of the girl’s butts but was however optimistic about the adolescent’s recovery. He told Canal 2: “presently they are out of danger but they need proper post-operation care alongside psychosocial follow-up.”

In a visit to the hospital, the Mayor of Bafia, Marthe Zintchem reportedly told the young girls to concentrate on their studies, away from social media urges, while calling on parents to be more cautious about what their teen does at home or outside of the home.

In Cameroon, several youths are engaged in other artificial activities, they deem to be of beauty standard. Amongst these activities is a skin whitening, which has gradually gained ground in several parts of the country. The Minister of public health Manaouda Malachie on September 2022 issued a communiqué, prohibiting the importation, production and distribution of cosmetic products containing hydroquinone and its derivatives and corticosteroids, all bleaching products.

Applied socio-cultural and cognitive psychologist Bongwon Bruno, explained that: “the majority of women are striving to measure themselves to some celebrities…the reasons are simple; maybe because of some skin diseases, to look attractive, to look desirable, to build self-confidence, to portray a social self, to gain employment, to gain a life partner because some women think that if they don’t bleach all of these will not come their way.”

“The generation in which we are is kind of a TikTok generation, where everybody is trying to measure up to one celebrity or the other… If you look among the Congolese, it is a common tradition amongst them that most of their artists, bleach to look attractive because they think that, bleaching is an aspect of selling their product, which product are we talking about? Their music.” Bongwon Bruno, furthered, stressing that, the young generation who get into these practices are influenced by the society in which they are.

The Mayor of Bafia Marthe Zintchem visited the three young girls after their operation at the Bafia District Hospital

Buttock injections are one of many common cosmetic procedures women undergo to achieve what society deems to be beautiful. Most of the injections have been banned across some African countries.

According to Carolina Vazquez Hernandez, a counsellor specializing in women’s issues, societal pressure is huge here – even more so than in other countries. “We women don’t have a clear identity of our roots. Because of this lack of identity, our self-esteem is very weak, and we can subject ourselves to anything that will develop our self-esteem,” says Ms Vazquez Hernandez.

Many hope that this tragic experience can at least serve as a warning for women considering having the injections – and help them learn to accept their bodies for what they are.

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