Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cameroon Link shares COL Lebialem Experiences with BCH Africa

By Prisca Ngeryi, camlink
On the invitation of the NGO “Building Capacities for Better Health in Africa, (BCH Africa), led by Dominique Kondji Konji, Cameroon Link shared the experiences of the Commonwealth of Learning, COL , Programme in Lebialem Division, in the south west region of Cameroon last May 28, 2011. BCH Africa is a national health and non-governmental organization founded in 2001 through an initiative of a group of persons working in various fields of community socio-economic development and who are willing to increase public awareness on health related issues and to empower communities through training and development of communication within the frame work of the national health policy and strategy defined by the Cameroon government.
Cameroon Link shared experiences on how Lebialem Community Radio, LCR, in Menji is used as a tool for health open distance learning through high quality story design programming. The theme of the COL Lebialem programme piloted by Cameroon Link is “Mother and Child Health Care Promotion”. At the end of the pilot phase in November 2011, the use of ICTs and Community Media for open distance learning will be scaled up at national level to create opportunities for execution of similar programmes across the territory of Cameroon in other regions. The Commonwealth of Learning Programme is supervised by the International Coordinator of the Media Development arm of COL, Ian Pringle, based in Vancouver, Canada.
Discussions on scaling up the programme at national level have started already with the Commonwealth of Learning Focal Point for Cameroon, Professor Ivo Leka Tambo, who doubles as the Secretary General at the Ministry of secondary education. Local broadcasters have been trained by COL facilitators from Malawi, Charles Simbi and Gladson Makowa , on how to conceive story design programmes and get the listeners involved in their production on weekly basis.
Duringt he exchange of experiences last May 28, 2011, Dominique Konji Konji , who has conducted research on the knowledge, attitudes and practices on immunization and tuberculosis provided insights on the vision of health in Cameroon up to the year 2035.
On the 7th June 2011, the Commonwelath of Learning national focal point for Cameroon, Professor Ivo Leke Tambo received in audience the Coordinator of the COL Cameroon Link Partnership Programme in Lebialem. During the audience, the COL Camlink liaison person, James Achanyi-Fontem, handed over a copy of the mid-term report of activities in Lebialem to Professor Tambo, discussed the follow up of activities in Lebialem and the proposal for scaling up activities nationwide with the involvement of the national education ministries of basic and secondary education, the eminent visit of the International Coordinator of COL Open Distance Media Development programme based in Vancouver, Canada, Ian Pringle, in September 2011,the possibility of Cameroon sharing its experiences during the forthcoming 7th Pan Commonwealth of Learning Forum slated in South Africa in September 2011 and the participation of Professor Leke Tambo in a special television production to highlight activities of Commonwealth of Learning in Cameroon since the 24th August,2006, when he was appointed by the Prime Minister and Head of Government of Cameroon in addition to his function as the Permanent Secretary at the Cameroon Ministry of Secondary Education.
Addressing issues raised during the audience, he started by lauding the amount of work realized by Cameroon Link and Lebialem Community Radio within the context of the current COOL partnership and added that it was a good example to copy and that he is very ready to support the scaling up at national level in Cameroon.
Prof. Leke Tambo remarked that Cameroon will be very delighted to receive Ian Pringle in Lebialem, Cameroon in September 2011, while cautioning that preparation should start now and that local authorities in Menji, should be informed and sensitized for mobilisation of the different actors, especially as September is the heart of the rainy season in that part of the region of Cameroon.
On the special COL Cameroon televised programme of activities, he advised that this should happen before July or from the third week of August 2011, because these period are very busy for preparation of the new academic year in Cameroon.
He concluded by promising to write on the report submitted and issues discussed after going through its content. To read more on the vision of health in Cameroon by the year 2035, click on the following link - http://cameroonlink.info/pages/partners.html. While on the page, click on BCH in colour at the end of the article to access the full presnetation by Konji Konji Dominique.

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