Sunday, November 22, 2009
Canadian Managing Editor of Farm Radio International (FRI), Douglas Bruce (Vijay Cuddeford) started a marathon round of community radio stations in Cameroon on the 20th November 2009. The Canadian visitor is undertaking a 3-week long working visit aimed at strengthening partnership with local community radio stations involved in the promotion of farming and livestock rearing through broadcasting.
It all started at Nostalgie FM Radio at the heart of Douala City in Cameroon with Carole Leuwe, who took notes on the possibility of working closely with FRI. Vijay Cuddford had the opportunity to watch a live broadcast operated with an interview of his Cameroon Link host, James Achanyi-Fontem on the recent trainer of trainers workshop sponsored by IBFAN Africa on the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi) in Cameroon.WBTi is an evaluation tool conceived by IBFAN Asia.
During the exchange with Carole Leuwe, the FRI managing editor exposed the different categories of partnership and handed over an endorsement form to be filled and returned to Canada for inclusion on the mailing list of beneficiaries of broadcast materials conceived and channelled to African community radio stations.
Apart from visiting radio stations, Vijay Cuddford discussed collaborative training for radio organisations and broadcasters on a variety of issues with knowledge organisations in Cameroon. At Cameroon Link, he said, it was time for the Human Assistance Programme to become an entry port for a strategic partnership following a long standing relationship between both organisations.
The strategic partnership memorandum between Farm Radio International and Cameron Link was discussed during a working session with staff in Grand Hangar-Bonaberi and the director of publications, James Achanyi-Fontem. It was agreed that on the return to Canada, Vijay Cuddford would present the content of the memorandum for further discussion with FRI administration and specific activities to be carried out within the strategic partnership frame work will be approved before take off in the new direction of collaboration.
At the Centre for the Environment and Rural Transformation, CERUT, in Limbe, Vijay Cuddford was presented an NGO which houses a media group that operates Eden Community Radio and Eden Newspaper. The target audience of Eden Radio are rural and urban poor, women, children, youths and retrenched retired workers.
Interventions of the organisation are through sensitisation, animation, workshops, study visits, exchange visits, fellowship visits, radio campaigns, production of videos and so on. Eden Radio delivers its programmes in two official languages and 10 local languages. The station covers fours regions of Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea.
The chief Executive Officer of the Eden Media Group, Zachee Nzoh-Ngandembou, expressed gratitude for the expansion of collaboration with the radio arm of his group, which was affiliated to Farm Radio International three years ago. Vijay Cuddford, who was accompanied during the Limbe trip was taken on air after a briefing and exchange with the radio staff.
The crucial problem facing community radio stations in Cameroon is the lack of transport facilities for collection of materials for programmes and the lack of modern studio equipment. The staff launched an appeal to developed country radio stations in Europe and America to assist where possible with second hand unused packed studio equipment to expand and reach wider audiences. Before December 13, when Vijay Cuddford would leave Cameroon back for Canada, he would have made contacts with over 30 community radio stations in Cameroon. He observed that Cameroon is strategic in the Central Africa region and that is what motivated Farm Radio International to settle extensively and assist the farmers through broadcasting.
According to Vijay Cuddford, Cameroon has enormous human and material resources, which just need to be well exploited for a great lift of the survival possibilities of its inhabitants. He is visiting community radio stations in the Littoral, South west, West, North West, Centre and South regions of Cameroon to collect information on their training needs and possibilities of exchanging broadcast programme packs and scripts.
Farm Radio International started as Developing Countries Farm Radio Network in 1979. It is celebrating the 30th Anniversary of collaboration with Community Radio stations throughout Africa this year. FRI is continuing its role of helping millions of African farmers through the airwaves from Ottawa, Canada.
Farm Radio International is supported by the Canadian government through the Canadian International Development Agency, CIDA. FRI is based in Ottawa with a staff of 10. Farm Radio International produces scripts about farming and rural development for more than 300 stations in Africa. The scripts are relevant, simple and easy to adapt to local languages and settings. Text messages from listeners indicate overwhelming support. A script on food/grains storage using pepper instead of chemical pesticides is reported to have been particularly helpful.
Thanks to continuing support from the Canadian government and donors, Farm Radio International has been able to expand its programs through a weekly e-newsletter, and it is now conducting a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded African Farm Radio Research Initiative in five countries to discover the best ways to use radio to support smallholder farmers. For more information, send an email to the following address:
Director of Publication
Tel: 00237 77 75 88 40
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
By Pauline Kisanga
IBFAN Africa Consultant
IBFAN Africa conducted a two day workshop from 12-13 November 2009, to orient the government of Cameroon on how to conduct periodic monitoring and evaluation of infant and young child feeding practices, policies and programmes using a simple to use World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative tool (the WBTi). The workshop was held at the Royal Palace Hotel Bonaberi-Douala for 14 participants who came from the government and different nutrition advocacy NGO’s and being gender sensitive, included men, women and youth groups. The workshop was facilitated by an international consultant to IBFAN Africa, Mrs. Pauline Kisanga and nationally organized and coordinated by the Coordinator of Cameroon Link who is also IBFAN coordinator of IBFAN groups in Cameroon.
The objectives of the workshop were to:
1.Sensitise participants on the Global strategy on Infant and Young Child Feeding and how it is linked to the WBTi tool;
2.Impart knowledge and skills on the application of the WBTi tool for monitoring and evaluation as well as for advocacy and action to improve IYCF;
3.Discuss unique national situations as regards the tool;
4.Identify sources of representative local data and methods of its gathering;
5.Develop an Action Plan for the first national assessment.
The workshop achieved its objectives and beyond as it was able to conduct a preliminary rough score of the country (81/150 or 54% of achievement) on implementation of the Global strategy; it came up with a concrete plan to complete the country assessment from 13th November to 18 of December; and it already begun utilizing the draft assessment results to advocate for further action using the national TV and internet Cameroon Link blog. The National Coordinator of Camlink and IBFAN consultant appeared on national TV immediately after the workshop and made a call for further action on this subject.
Among the achievements observed on implementation of Global Strategy nationally are:
1.Excellent initiation of breastfeeding with one hour of birth (95.6).
2.Cameroon has a national Code on the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, even though it is not enforced and it has no sanctions.
3.Many health facilities in Cameroon practice kangaroo care to provide care to low birth weight or pre-term infants.
4.Exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months is increasing even though slowly.
5.Community based support by mother support groups is fairly good except there is lack of optimal and correct information for mothers and community workers.
6.The World breastfeeding Week is celebrated nationally annually.
Among identified major gaps are:
1.Too early introduction of other foods and water (26.2%) and too late introduction of complementary foods for 20% of infants.
2.Lack of a National Coordinator for infant and young child feeding in the Ministry of Health and a national coordinating committee supported by the Ministry of Health and fully responsible for IYCF.
3.The National Code of Marketing is not translated into English so that all can understand and lacks sanctions.
4.Information, education and communication efforts are only reaching 58% of the population.
5.High bottle feeding practices for infant 0-6 months (26%)
6.No efforts are made to implement BFHI in health facilities.
7.No awareness of infant feeding in emergencies.
8.On Maternity protection, not all provisions of the ILO 183 Convention are addressed and there was no protection of agricultural workers and those in the informal sector.
9.There is need to know more about what is happening to mothers who are HIV positive in terms of infant feeding.
•Cameroon has over 48 community radio stations that are not fully utilized by the government for infant and young child feeding education.
•Cameroon boasts of having a good national Federation of Cameroon Breastfeeding Promotion Associations, FECABPA; it hosts the International Men’s Initiative of the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, WABA; and is strongly affiliated to IBFAN and the Baby Milk action that are two advocacy houses for infant and young child feeding.
•Good relationships between Cameroon Link and the Government-for instance the government was fully supportive of the WBTi workshop and even supported with gathering of preliminary data.
•A very strong Cameroon Link-coordinating the federation of Cameroon Breastfeeding Promotion Associations, FECABPA and affiliated to many other national groups working on related work.
Among the key recommendations made to the national government and local partners are:
1.Appoint a national Coordinator for infant and young child feeding who is in a senior position and a national committee answerable to the Ministry of Health and the Federation.
2.The government should have a budget for implementing infant and young child feeding programme.
3.The government should translate the national Code into English so that all can benefit and it should revise the Code so that it includes sanctions.
4.The government, UNICEF and WHO to initiate urgent efforts to train health workers on BFHI and implement the BFHI in health facilities and communities.
5.The government needs to integrate guidelines on infant feeding in emergencies within the nutrition policy.
6.The Government with the support of UNICEF and the WHO to improve monitoring and evaluation of IYCF indicators within existing systems.
Major request made to IBFAN
1.IBFAN to consider including French in all its future national training and IYCF documentation in order to achieve full participation of the French section of the country. It was explained that this was possible through IBFAN Africa sub-office in Burkina Faso.
WBTi is a web based tool that is adapted from the WABA’s GLOPAR 1993 tool and the WHO’s tool “Infant and Young Child Feeding: A tool for assessing national practices, policies, and programs” (2003/4). It is an action oriented tool that encourages involvement of all stakeholders from assessment, analysis to action planning and implementation.
The periodic use of the WBTi tool for monitoring of progress of the infant and young child activities is expected to identify best lessons of achievement and existing gaps and thereby generate action to improve on policies and programmes for maternal and child health. This in turn is expected to lead to improved infant feeding practices and maternal health and therefore speed up the achievement of MDG 4 and 5.
The WBTi objectives are to:
Provide critical information to governments, needed to bridge gaps in infant and young child feeding policy and practice
Provide evidence to IBFAN groups to advocate for greater effort and investment to promote early and exclusive breastfeeding in the respective countries and regions
Contribute to attaining MDG-4 and 5 and reducing under-five child mortality and improve women’s health
Document best practices and share them with other countries in regional forums.
Preparation of WBTi Training
Cameroon Link made excellent preparations for the workshop including development of information packs for all participants and collecting preliminary data on most of the 15 indicators, which enabled mock data processing-filling of forms, analysis and rating and scoring; as well as generating excellent discussions based on real life situations during the workshop.
Cameroon Link is the national Focal Point for the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) in Cameroon. It is through Cameroon Link that the Ministry of Health of Cameroon now collaborates with IBFAN Africa closely. Cameroon Link has been instrumental in the formation of the national Federation of Cameroon Breastfeeding Promotion Associations, FECABPA, and the Men’s Initiative of the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, WABA.
It is IBFAN’s expectation that after this workshop the national team will be able to finalise their national assessment, conduct partial analysis and submit their national report to IBFAN AFRICA who together with IBFAN Asia will finalise the report cards for country advocacy work and further action. At the same time from the assessment reports the national group will design their advocacy strategy for improving country action for IYCF.
THE WORKSHOP PROCESS
1. The head of the reproductive health unit and health partnerships focal point, Mr. Samuel Mibe (MOH), opened the workshop with acknowledgement to IBFAN for their support and the Cameroon government for their efforts towards improvement of Infant and Young Child Feeding, IYCF. He thanked Mrs. Joyce Chanetsa, current regional coordinator of IBFAN Africa for including Cameroon on the list of countries that have benefited from the training in the Africa region and welcomed the consultant. He also presented excusive breastfeeding trends from 1991 to 2006, indicating significant improvement from below 10% in 1991 at 3 months to 37% at 0-6 months.
2. Mr. James Achanyi-Fontem, the National Coordinator of IBFAN Group and Cameroon Link welcomed the consultant and participants, also acknowledging the support of IBFAN and WABA and the good collaboration they have with the Cameroon Ministry of Health and other partners. He also presented some of the preliminary data on infant and young child feeding adding to that from the Ministry of Health especially in the area of policies and programmes, calling for more vigilance from his colleagues so that they can sustain the ongoing efforts and exceed the level they have reached. He also reiterated that the WBTi was a good opportunity as a new initiative in boosting the Cameroon Link’s 20th Anniversary celebrations that were going to be held on the 23rd of November 2009. He called on vigilance and adviced that the WBTi results could be utilized in preparation of the national assessment workshop.
3. The consultant then briefed the trainers on the global strategy on IYCF as the basis for the protection, promotion and support of all IYCF activities. She highlighted the goal of the Global Strategy as:
•improve the feeding of infants and young children by
oprotecting, promoting and supporting optimal feeding practices
oempowering mothers/families/care-givers to make, and carry out, fully informed decisions about feeding, free from adverse commercial influences and misinformation; and
oensuring supportive conditions for exclusive and continued breastfeeding as well as timely, adequate, safe and appropriate complementary feeding for every child
•Increase the commitment of governments, civil society and international organisations to protecting, promoting and supporting optimal infant and young child feeding.
•provision of accurate, objective and consistent information about optimal child feeding practices
•skilled support to initiate/sustain the optimal feeding practices, preventing/overcoming difficulties
•protection from misinformation and inappropriate commercial influences
•creating enabling environment for mothers/families to adequately feed and care for their infants and young children
She emphasized the Innocenti Targets and the additional targets of the Global Strategy as basis for the WBTi implementation:
•Innocent Declaration targets
All governments should:
1.appoint a national breastfeeding coordinator
2.ensure that every facility providing maternity services fully practices the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding
3.take action to give effect to the principles and aim of all Articles of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent relevant resolutions of the World Health Assembly
4.enact imaginative legislation protecting the breastfeeding rights of working women and establish means for its enforcement
•Additional operational targets
5.develop a comprehensive policy on infant and young child feeding
6.ensure that all key players protect, promote and support exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life
7.promote timely, adequate, safe and appropriately done complementary feeding
8.develop guidelines on appropriate feeding of infants and young children in exceptionally difficult circumstances, including HIV/AIDS
9.adopt national legislation and other suitable measures for implementing the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent relevant
o describes interventions for promotion, protection & support of IYCF
o concentrates on the role of critical partners (govt, Int org, civil society)
o builds on existing approaches
o comprehensive (all inclusiveness)
o calls for investment into IYCF
o How do I use the strategy to ensure that appropriate IYCF is a reality in my country to achieve the United Nations Millennium Summit – MDG 4 and 5 (2000)
o Each country has been urged to develop, implement, monitor and evaluate a plan of action on IYCF. Many have plans but how well are they implementing and reporting on the achievement of the operational goals.
o This emphasis was made again in the Innocenti Declaration on IYCF (2005) that countries should put resources into IYCF as over 60% of under fives mortality is attributable to inadequate infant and young child feeding.
She stated that:
•The achievement of the OPERATIONAL GOALS needs to be monitored
•Action needs to be stimulated at all levels for implementation of the Global Strategy from the national assessments.
•IBFAN Asia has innovatively summarised the WHO monitoring tool into a more manageable tool-the WBTi
•The WBTi addresses all the 9 goals; is participatory, action oriented and is simple to use;
•It is the best in Tracking, Assessing and Monitoring (TAM) the implementation of Global Strategy for IYCF
5.Introduction to WBTI and the participants’ reading of the green book.
A brief presentation of the WBTi was made followed by the participants reading the green book and answering questions that followed; which were mostly well understood.
This was followed by discussion of the Africa experience. The consultant briefed them on the regional workshop by IBFAN Africa and Asia for the 14 countries, the rationale for selection of countries and the work that followed at each country level. The consultant explained that to date 7 out of the 14 countries have their reports posted on the WBTi website, while other reports are still being reviewed by the IBFAN Regional office and IBFAN Asia.
5. How to conduct national assessments
This was a brief power point presentation on the steps that each country should follow in conducting assessments. This was followed by a brief discussion.
SESSION 2, 3, 4, 5
In these sessions the participants worked in 3 groups on understanding the questionnaires and identifying the sources of data for each of the indicators.
This was followed by group presentations: Major sources of date for Cameroon were the DHS, Ministry of Health, WHO and UNICEF. Others were HIV/AIDS commission, Ministry of Labour and ILO; and health facilities referenced reports.
This was followed by another group work to read each indicator in detail: reading the question and the sub-set, suggesting possible sources of data and method of collecting the data. This was then followed by group presentations of findings and challenges. The participants understood the questionnaire and the only challenges indicated were in the language and lack of data in some of the areas.
Groups were organized as follows:
Group 1: Indicators-1, 2, 6, 7, and 8
Group 2: Indicators- 3, 4, 9, 10, and 11
Group 3: Indicators- 5, 12, 13, 14, and 15
SESSION 6, 7, 8
This Sessions consisted of viewing the Africa report from Malawi on how the form was filled; filling the blank template using available national data, analyzing the data and rating and scoring; and discussing how to identify gaps, identify achievements, write recommendations for action on bridging the gaps.
This was then followed by presentation by groups and discussion.
At the end of this session all the indicators were scored and the a draft country score, determined (almost a true score because of the available information)
There was then a brief discussion on how the collected information and the score could be utilized for advocacy and since they had several journalists in the group there were many useful suggestions including: media houses, newsletters, meetings with policy makers, training of health workers and community resource people and IEC materials.
SESSION 9-Web action
This was partially successful. Participants were shown how to register and how to obtain information from the WBTi website. Africa reports and scores were easily accessed but when it came to registration in order to get the tables, graphs, maps and pie charts, the registration failed. The participants were requested to each register so that they could access the reports later in their own time.
SESSION 10 PLAN OF ACTION AND BUDGET
Participants came up with their plan of action immediately after the web-action. This action plan is contained in the Coordinator’s report attached. Contained in the coordinator’s report are also national scores, achievements and recommendations for each of the indicators. These will however, be verified by the actual national assessments to be completed by 18th December.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
By Rose Ajonglefac
The President of the Federation of Cameroon Breastfeeding Promotion Association, FECABPA, has lauded efforts of the Cameroon government towards improvement of Infant and Young Child Feeding, IYCF. He was speaking in douala on the occasion of the launching of the orientation training on the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative, WBTi. He siad, he was honoured to have the opportunity to welcome infant nutrition advocates and the IBFAN Africa consultant, Pauline Kisanga, who arrived Cameroon to capacitate the advocates last November 10. He thanked Mrs. Joyce Chanetsa, current regional coordinator of IBFAN Africa for including Cameroon on the list of countries that have benefited from the training in the Africa region.
The Ministry of Public Health guided the trainer of trainers workshop organisers during the preparation and secondary data was collected from WHO/UNICEF Cameroon websites on child nutiriton trends.
The WBTi orientation workshop was hosted at Royal Palace Hotel Bonaberi-Douala for two days.The 14 participants observed that workshop was alearning and exchange opportunity on the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative. This training is expected to assist in the expansion of our breastfeeding advocacy for protection and promotion, monitoring and evaluation of mothers' in Cameroon .
Pauline Kisanga was described as the Africa Queen of Infant and Young Child Feeding. WABA had during past ceremonies considered her as Africa’s ambassador of breastfeeding advocacy.
She has published several works including, “The Process for Successful Implementation of ILO Maternity Protection Convention 183 of 2000 at National Level: Africa Regional Experience of Step by Step Action” and “The Protection, Support, and Promotion of Breastfeeding in HIV: Policy Guidelines by IBFAN Africa”.
She is special to Cameroon Link, because in her capacity as the Regional Coordinator of IBFAN Africa and with the support of Baby Milk Action, the organisation was co-opted and affiliated into the Anglophone and Lusophone IBFAN Group in 2000. With her coaching and constant support, Cameroon Link grew from strength to strength and was recipient of the IBFAN Africa distinction in 2007 in Maputo, Mozambique for excellent advocacy strategies during the 7th Regional Conference and its commitment and engaging support for the promotion and protection of breastfeeding in the continent and Cameroon in particular. IBFAN' award was the second distinction after the George Atkins Communication award by the Developing Countries Farm Radio Network in 1996. In 2008, Cameroon Link also received WABA's Gold Medal for the World Breastfeeding Week Marathon events in Cameroon.
Cameroon Link today pilots the Federation of Cameroon Breastfeeding Promotion Associations, FECABPA, the Men’s Initiative of the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, WABA, and is the Focal Point for the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN)Group in Cameroon. At Cameroon Link, the motto is "Babies can’t wait and it is baby's right to be breastfed on demand and exclusively for the first six months.”
Cameroon Link remains more committed than before, especially as on the 23rd November 2009, the 20th Anniversary, it is involved in a new initiative, “The World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative.” The data and information presented during the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative orientation trainers' workshop was built on reports and information collected from the Demographic Health Survey, DHS in Cameroon, statistics from the ministry of planning, programming and territorial development in Yaoundé, WHO and UNICEF sources.
It should be noted that comprehensive survey results are published in the DHS final reports approximately 8 – 12 months after the completion of fieldwork while standard reports are approximately 200 pages in length and include topics on household and respondent characteristics, fertility and family planning, maternal and child health, nutrition and HIV/AIDS.
The department for health promotion in the ministry of public health contributed as the policy and decision making channel. The IBFAN Cameroon Link Group collaborates with the Ministry of Public Health and reports regularly on all its activities. Here are key indicators which will be revised and published in April 2010 when the current survey on the rights of the child to food will be validated.
IBFAN Cameroon Link Group observed that much progress has been made to increase the rate of breastfeeding in Cameroon. He presented indicators which have to be validated and published in April 2010.
2009 INDICATORS (1-5)
1. Percentage of babies breastfed within one hour of birth in the last 24
Hours - 95.6%
2. Percentage of babies of 0<6 months of age who are exclusively breastfed - 37%
3. Median duration of Babies breastfed for up to 24 months - 17.5%
4. Percentage of breastfed babies less than 6 months old receiving other foods or drinks from bottles - 26.2%
5. Percentage of breastfed babies receiving complementary foods from 6-9 months of
Age - 79.2%
Indicator 6: National Policy, Programme and Coordination
There is a national policy on infant and young child feeding.
1. Inadequate funding for IYCF activities in Cameroon.
2. Non existence of a National Breastfeeding Committee and Coordinator at the level of Public Health Ministry.
1. We advocate for increased funding of programmes to improve infant feeding practices.
2. We advocate for the establishment of a National Breastfeeding Committee and that the government should appoint a national coordinator of Infant and Young child Feeding.
Indicator 7: Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (Ten steps to successful breastfeeding in the maternity services)
Some work was done on the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, but not enough evaluation was done for certification in the Adamaoua Region, which was area of concentration.
1. The frequent redeployment and high attrition rate of trained health workers.
2. Infrequent monitoring at national and regional levels.
1. Train Auxiliary Nurses on the ten steps to successful breastfeeding because these nurses do not change health facilities very frequently.
2. Increase monitoring and supervision.
Indicator 8: Implementation of the International Code
All aspects of the code have been adopted and domesticated in Cameroon and are being implemented, though monitoring needs to be enforced more regularly. IYCF promotion advocates from many works of life have been trained to monitor implementation and violations of the Cameroon National Code put into circulation on the 1st December 2005. There will be greater outreach if the national code is translated into the English language. Repressive measures need to be included in the code for the enforcement of its articles in case of violation.
Indicator 9: Maternity Protection
1. Maternity leave does not meet the minimum ILO recommendations and does not cover all working women especially those in the informal/unorganized or agricultural sectors.
1. Advocate for ensuring maternity protection to reach at least the minimum recommended by ILO (ILO MPC 183) while at the same time increasing its scope to include all women of child bearing age who may be in one form of employment or the other.
Indicator 10: Health and Nutrition Care Systems
1. Inadequate coverage of IYCF issues in Pre-service health training schools.
1. Support health training institutions to include IYCF issues in their curricula.
2. Train the teachers on IYCF issues.
Indicator 11: Mother Support and Community Outreach – Community based Support for the pregnant and breastfeeding mother.
There is an extensive community based support system that provides up to date information to pregnant women and mothers, though there is inadequate staff in health facilities.
More community outreach staff should be trained for all regions and health districts to be covered.
Activities need to be reinforced within the communities with seedgrants and Ministry of Public health subventions.
Indicator 12: Information Support
The existence of a national IEC strategy for improving IYCF practices in Cameroon helps to raise the status from where it was in the latter part of the 1990’s to where it is now. It has become a tradition to celebrate the National IYCF Nutrition Week (January) and World Breastfeeding Week (August) in Cameroon nation wide.
Indicator 13: Infant Feeding and HIV
The government is commitment to the prevention of paediatric HIV in all regions and health districts.
1. Inability to ascertain the actual proportion of babies of HIV positive mothers that are protected from infection due to appropriate feeding options.
2. The high attrition rate and frequent redeployment of health workers hampers the implementation of activities. Many health workers retire without replacements in the health facilities. The number of nutrition counseling specialists in health facilities throughout Cameroon remains low.
Conduct operational research to determine the proportion of babies of HIV positive mothers who become infected through breastfeeding.
Train more staff and reactivate dormant peer education activities for HIV prevention to promote behavior change communication.
Indicator 14: Infant Feeding during Emergencies
Very little is done in the area of emergencies. Emergencies are not well documented and this infringes on preparedness.
Infant feeding in emergencies is not addressed enough in existing policies. Interventions are sporadic and not on permanent basis, especially as rural communities outreach remains limited.
Ensure that the Nutrition Policy is reviewed to capture infant feeding in emergencies and the strategic plans be developed to adequately address IEC on IYCF.
Indicator 15: Mechanisms of Monitoring and Evaluation System
Monitoring, evaluation and follow up is done with the organization of frequent meetings involving NGOs.
1. Paucity of data especially median duration of breastfeeding and bottle feeding rates. Data varies from rural, to semi urban and urban areas.
2. Information on IYCF not routinely collected through the health systems on breastfeeding trends in all districts and regions.
1. Surveys to consider collecting more comprehensive information on Infant and Young Child Feeding practices including bottle feeding and duration of breastfeeding.
2. Incorporate IYCF in the routine health maternity counseling services of both public and private facilities.
For more information, contact the WBTi training organisers at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Managing Editor Visits Cameroon
Canadian Managing Editor of Farm Radio International, Douglas Bruce (Vijay Cuddeford) undertakes a 3-week long working visit in Cameroon from November 19. The visit aims at strengthening partnership with local community radio stations involved in the promotion of farming and livestock rearing through broadcasting.
Apart from visiting radio stations, Douglas Bruce will discuss collaborative training for radio organisations and broadcasters on a variety of issues with knowledge organisations in Cameroon. He will be visiting community radio stations in the Littoral, South west, West, North West, Centre and South regions of Cameroon took collect information on their training needs and possibilities of exchanging broadcast programme packs and scripts.
Farm Radio International started as Developing Countries Farm Radio Network in 1979. It is celebrating the 30th Anniversary of collaboration with Community Radio stations throughout Africa this year. FRI is continuing its role of helping millions of African farmers through the airwaves from Ottawa, Canada.
Farm radio International is supported by the Canadian government through the Canadian International Development Agency, CIDA. When Canadian journalist, George Atkins, first visited Africa in the 1970s, he found that Africa’s farmers weren’t short of good ideas appropriate to their circumstances, but distance, language and limited literacy often prevented them from sharing these ideas with each other.
The ideas being shared at the time were those from the developed economies — the result of farm extension efforts aimed at Africa which tended to focus on using inappropriate or unaffordable machinery, chemicals or fertilizer.
Atkins, a farm broadcaster at Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CBC, Toronto, had been part of the success in delivering practical extension information to farmers in post-war Canada. When he returned from his visit to Africa, he resolved to launch a second career doing the same for farmers in Africa in a way that would solve the idea-sharing problem. The Developing Countries Farm Radio Network was born in a small office in Toronto.
On May 1, 1979 the first script package was sent. In 2009, approximately 900 radio scripts have been circulated under the organisation’s new name “Farm Radio International”. Atkins’s brainchild celebrates its 30th anniversary of successfully reaching farmers through the radio, which remains the cheapest and most reliable medium in the developing.
Now based in Ottawa with a staff of 10, Farm Radio International produces scripts about farming and rural development for more than 300 stations in Africa. The scripts are relevant, simple and easy to adapt to local languages and settings. Text messages from listeners indicate overwhelming support. A script on food/grains storage using pepper instead of chemical pesticides is reported to have been particularly helpful.
Thanks to continuing support from Canadian donors, Farm Radio has been able to expand its programs through a weekly e-newsletter, and it is now conducting a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded African Farm Radio Research Initiative in five countries to discover the best ways to use radio to support smallholder farmers.
George Atkins is 91years old. He stepped down from the Farm Radio board only two years ago. He observed that “at this time, millions of the poorest of the poor farmers of the world are hearing this information to help them increase their food supplies and have better nutrition and health. If that isn’t what’s helping people in developing countries, I don’t know what it is. I have to pinch myself when I think of the people who are helped by this service that is available to them by just turning on their radio.”
Atkins said he hopes Canadians will continue their generous donations to support the low-cost but effective approach he started 30 years ago, noting that the world food shortages of the past year have reinforced the importance of supporting smallholder farmers around the world.
Director of Publications
Tel: 00237 77 75 88 40