Wednesday, September 12, 2012

BCH Africa Graduates First Batch of Project Managers

Ojong Helen Ayamba, Cameroon Link: The Regional Delegate for Public Health in the Littoral, Dr. Yamba Beyas Martin, presided over the case study of Malontsa Valery Roger, a student of Building Capacity for Africa’s professional training centre in PK 14 Ndokoti-Douala on September 11. Other members of jury were James Achanyi-Fontatem, Health Communication Consultant and Kologo Niquese, a mother and child rights activist. The theme of the case study for certification as a manager community health projects was “the framework of mother and child health promotion in the district of Deido in a Douala city neighbourhood of Cameroon.
Malontsa observed that the health of the mother and the child at this century remains a great preoccupation due to an increase in the rate of mortality. Infant mortality rate in Africa stands at 51% representing some 4.7 million deaths for children below 5 years, according to UNICEF statistics of 2007. The researcher observed that if the pack of activities included the promotion of exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of a baby, the promotion of hand washing, oral rehydration therapy and the constant use on the long lasting impregnated mosquito net by child below 5 years, the number of child deaths will be reduced drastically. Other activities Malontsa suggested for the acceleration of behavior change communication are the organization of routine vaccination campaigns, the promotion of the consumption of iodized salt and maternal pre-natal consultation and intermittent preventive treatment. He noted that Cameroon subscribed to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals No 4 and 5 by the year 2015 concerning the reduction of infant mortality and the amelioration of maternal health care. The government has organized a good number of activities across the country, but unfortunately the population has not been involved at the decision making process. They have been involved as passive actors and this has led to low impact. Malontsa adds that community sensitization has been insufficient at all stages and this is seen from statistics collected during the past vaccination campaigns. It within the context of the failures that the researcher focused his attention on the identification of the role communities have to play during preparation of maternal and infant health care strategies, during execution and during evaluation in Cameroon. He analyzed the factors that encourage active participation and influence behavior change within communities through the involvement dialogue groups and potential civil society organisations. He went on to say, that the result of his research should lead to proposals not only at district level, but at regional and national levels of strategic actions for reinforcing community participation in health care delivery.
The second study case examined during the presentation and review session was staged by Nombo Kondji Hermannie Carine, a jurist whose theme of research focused on Communication for development. The work presented at the end of one-year long training and field research at BCH Africa for obtaining the professional qualification and certification as community projects manager focused on the promotion of human rights in Cameroon. The president of the jury was Dr. Foyet Ignace, a jurist and economist. Nombo Kondji based her argument on the fact that parents in Cameroon do not know where their rights begin and where they end, as she quoted the Cameroon National Commission on Human Rights. She lamented on the fact that many consider their rights as a favour or a privilege, when citing the right to work, right to health, right to education, right to vote and right to well-being as examples. During her case study, she researched on the dispositions put in place by the government through existing structures, strategies, activities and other means to promote human rights in Cameroon. Her aim for carrying out research on the topic is to contribute and reinforce the promotion of rights in Cameroon through the use of communication models for development and behaviour change. This model aims at ameliorating the well-being of individuals, through their participation in development processes freely and actively through equitable sharing of benefits that result thereafter following their interventions. Nombo Kondji emphasized the fact that all actors of the public and private sectors have to show proof of diligence and intervene when incidence of human rights abuses surface within their communities. Four students qualified in the first batch certification exercise of September 11, 2012. BCH Africa professional training center was authorized by the Cameroon government through a ministerial order no. 0085/MINEFOP/SG/SDGSF/SACD of 7th June 2010.

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