Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Knock Out Malaria From Cameroon

Civil Society Organisations Drilled On Good Governance
By James Achanyi-Fontem, camlink99@gmail.com
Some 45 representatives of civil society organisations and heads of health districts in the Litooral region of Cameroon have been drilled on good governance of financial management, advocacy and resource mobilisation during a three-day workshop within the frame work of Scaling Up Malaria Control for Impact (SUFI) in Cameroon. SUFI is financed by Round 9 of the Global Fund for the fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Cameroon Link is amongst the civil society organisations selected to participate in the execution phase of the distribution of long duration impregnated mosquito nets within the frame work of the Global Fund round 9 programme in the littoral region. The workshop was organised by the regional delegation for public health in collaboration with the Malaria Consortium – Cameroon Coalition Against Malaria (MC-CCAM), Plan Cameroon and IRESCO.
Key facilitators of the workshop were Daniel Sibetcheu (MC-CCAM), Sob Eric Arsene (Plan Cameroon) and Valerie Ahouama (IRESCO). Addressing the participants, the Interim Regional Delegate for Public Health, Dr. Dissongo Jean II, said the training aimed at preparing the civil society organisations in Cameroon to become fully involved in advocacy and the mobilisation of resources for Scaling Up Malaria Control fro Impact from 2011 to 2015.
Daniel Sibetcheu told the civil society leader that malaria is the cause of over 780.000 deaths in the world and 90% is from Africa. In effect, an African child dies every 45 seconds by WHO records, even though malaria can be prevented and treated through involvement of all stakeholders of a community.
It is expected that the involvement of civil society organisations will increase the use of impregnated mosquito nets by all to 80% and the most vulnerable groups like pregnant women and children below the age of 5 will be protected.
The principal strategies adopted for Scaling UP Malaria for Impact in Cameroon are:
 The organisation of a mass campaign for the distribution of long duration impregnated mosquito nets in 2011
 The organisation of routine distribution of mosquito nets to pregnant women and other sustenance strategies from 2011 to 2015
 The rationalisation of management of cases through rapid diagnostic tests before treatment at the facilities and within the communities.
It is expected that this approach will improve on partnerships with the full participation of the civil society organisations selected and the coordination of all parties involved. Participants at the workshop were informed that the project is been executed with the “dual track” policy of the Global fund. This policy calls for the involvement of the government and the civil society organisations at all levels of implementation of activities.
It is within this context that the Ministry of Public Health is the Principal Recipient 1 on the government side and Plan Cameroon is the Principal Recipient 2 as Civil Society. The two recipients are operating in collaboration with three sub recipients that include “l’Association Camerounaise pour le Marketing social (ACMS)”, Malara Consortium – Cameroon Coaltion Against Malaria (MC-CCAM) and l’Institut pour la Recherche, le développement Socio-économique et la Communication (IRESCO).
In the organisation of the strategies, 10 regional civil society organisations, CSO, 179 district civil society organisations and 15.500 community based organisations, CBO, were selected to implement action plans at the respective levels of the project.
This explains why the training was deemed important to explain the vital role to be played by the civil society organisations in Cameroon for Scaling Up Malaria Prevention for Impact. It was made clear that the Global Fund in transparency and good governance policy does not tolerate any incidents of fraud and mismanagement. It counts on the civil society organisation to play a very important role for behaviour change communication throughout the project execution process in Cameroon.
For three days, the civil society organisations’ capacities were reinforced in the areas of advocacy, good governance, financial management and resource mobilisation. The civil society organisations received two key modules prepared as guidelines for executing the work within the health district communities and for organising similar training for the community based organisation.
The Regional Coordinator for the fight against malaria in the littoral, Dr. Gertrude Bita, accompanied the training facilitators throughout their mission and an evaluation was organised at the end of each. The evaluation assisted in monitoring the level of understanding of the content of the modules delivered and gaps were closed as the theoretical and practical sessions unfolded with presentations after work in groups.

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