Thursday, November 14, 2013


By camlinknews Email:
H.E. Daouda Guindo, Representative of UNICEF pledged continued infant and young child feeding support during the official launching of the WBW 2013 celebration in Yaoundé. Speaking on behalf of UNICEF, Daouda Guindo, said it was a pleasure that his organization joined all the other actors in the celebration of the World Breastfeeding Week. It is an occasion during which everybody, supports, encourages and promotes breastfeeding. It creates an opportunity to make the impact of breastfeeding visible and gives the people of the world to highlight that support for child survival. The theme of this year which is linked to mother support, he added, aims at drawing the attention of the public to the importance of mother support by the fathers and to inform the community on the efficiency of the key messages and to unite forces to achieve goals.
It is also an opportunity to encourage advocates of breastfeeding irrespective of the level of the interventions, while identifying focal points that encourage lactating mothers. The UNICEF representative told the government of Cameroon that if we have to successfully fight against malnutrition, more funding and engagement is needed, because breastfeeding is a capital human investment. Breastfeeding is another way of poverty reduction and the elimination of malnutrition. Daouda Guindo recalled that the last demographic survey shows that breastfeeding rate in Cameroon is only 20% and this is caused by the early introduction of other liquids and solid foods before the recommended age of six months. This tendency can be reversed if the family, community, work place, health facility and government circles’ interventions are intensified. The interventions must cover the periods before and after birth of a baby.
Breastfeeding is simple and less costly. It is baby’s food that cannot be replaced. UNICEF has made a substantial contribution for wider community outreach by signing a collaboration convention with the Federation of Cameroon Breastfeeding Promotion Associations (FECABPA). The financial assistance is destined for information and education of mothers, fathers and youths within communities throughout Cameroon. Another area of investment is the organisation of a breastfeeding caravan in the northern regions to involve traditional leaders and other stake holders.
Activities of the World Breastfeeding Week in Cameroon were extended to the 8th November 2013 to permit the key messages of support to breastfeeding mothers to reach all levels of the communities. He concluded saying that UNICEF is sensitive to all inputs and actions in favour of breastfeeding, as he expressed gratitude to the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, WABA.

Health Workers Called To Promote Breastfeeding

By camlinknews
The representative of the minister of public health, Dr. Ondoa Mekongo, said the presence of WHO, UNICEF, Health workers, and civil society organisations at the official launching of the World Breastfeeding Week in Cameroon translates their engagement and love for the survival of children in Cameroon. He observed that the theme of this year’s celebration is an eye opener because only 2 out of 10 mothers breastfeed their babies within the first one hour after birth. 6 out of 10 mothers breastfeed their babies for the first time within the first 24 hours after delivery. Only 2 out 10 mothers breastfeed exclusively in the first six months after birth. This situation is preoccupying and calls for political action to reverse the tendency. If all mothers breastfed their babies normally, 1000.000 lives will be saved throughout the world. Breastfeeding encourages contact between the mother and the baby during several hours of the day and it is the best way for promotion of attachment. It helps the mother to express her natural love to the baby, laying the base for love relationship and confidence between the parent and the child.
The government of Cameroon has taken a number of actions to promote infant and young child feeding. These included the decree instituting the national code for regulating the marketing of breastmilk substitute, national infant and young child feeding policy, the decision to accord two breastfeeding hours for the working mother, just to name a few. This is proof of the government’s engagement to improve on the wellbeing, protection and human rights of child in Cameroon. Dr. Ondoa Mekongo recognized that these actions are realized with the support of international partners like WHO and UNICEF. However, he added, that much is still left to be realized in the area of breastfeeding and the nutrition of the young child in Cameroon. The current struggle is to increase breastfeeding rates and especially early initiation within the first one hour of the birth of a baby. The target is to increase breastfeeding rate to 50% by the year 2020.
He reminded health workers at all level of their specific roles for the achievement of the government’s objectives in relation to the promotion of optimal breastfeeding, the protection of expectant mothers and lactating mothers against marketing of breastmilk substitute influences that compromises well informed decisions of mothers. To achieve the objectives, the health workers have to be trained to be able to carry out the duties correctly and encourage mother to start early initiation of breastfeeding. Nurses should promote permanent contact between the mother and the baby at all moments during their stay in the health facility. Addressing the health civil society organisations, Dr. Ondoa Mekongo, encouraged members of FECABPA to remain united and prepare them to receive mothers within the community when they are discharged from the hospitals and clinic, so counseling can continue within the family and community circles.
The Cameroon government has put in place a new programme which is scaling up nutrition within global partnerships with international organisations from this year. The programme will include actions for the promotion of breastfeeding, fight against malnutrition, de-worming of children, fortification of foods at home through training of health workers and intensification of community level campaigns for social mobilization, information and sensitization. He ended by making a call for international support to the scaling up nutrition programme.

Welcome Address Of Prof. Angwafo During WBW 2013

By camlinknews Email:
Speaking on behalf of the staff of the hospital, he expressed gratitude for the choice of venue for the launching of the World Breastfeeding Week 2013 in Cameroon. He said, the regular visits and events testify the importance of the health facility. The Under Secretary General of the United Nations in charge of innovative funding visited the hospital ahead of the WBW 2013. Pr. Angwafo Fru III announced the theme of the event falls in line with the preoccupation of their conviction. The doctors, midwives and nurses planned sensitization and educative talks on the importance of breastfeeding, the techniques of breastfeeding, good start of complimentary feeding, neurologic development of the infant and prevention of malnutrition.
He thanked all the intervening actors who federated their actions to make the event a success. Special thanks went to UNICEF, ministry of public health and civil society health organisations present at the ceremony. He described the Gyneco-Pediatric health facility as a Baby Friendly Hospital, where all babies are given equal attention. The focus on the hospital is on the prevention of the transmission of HIV from the mother to the child and he wished that the celebration should not be seen as a punctual occasion only. He gives an opportunity to demonstrate the fact that breastfeeding protects babies for illnesses and permits excellent growth, while assuring stability of affection. Emphasizing on exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, Pr. Angwafo said, breastmilk is the ideal food for the new born. He encouraged mothers to continue breastfeeding after six months up to 24 months and beyond, while introducing appropriate well balanced complimentary foods. He reiterated that it is a recommendation of the World health organization and Cameroon’s ministry of public health.
Breastfeeding, the director general concluded is the best start for the fight against malnutrition of infants, as he announced that all babies born in the hospital are breastfed.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

FECABPA Fait Le Bilan - SMAM 2013

Discours de Président de la Fédération Camerounaise des Associations pour la Promotion de l’allaitement Maternel,(FECABPA), James Achanyi-Fontem, à la cérémonie du lancement de la SMAM 2013 au Cameroun à Yaoundé, le 8 Novembre, 2013 La BMAM est partir, les hommes sont passes et les parole restent... Voici ceque le président de la FECABPA et Directeur Exécutive de Cameroon Link a observé pendant le lancement de la SMAM. Ce blog va presenter tous les declarations des acteurs.
Excellence, M. Le Ministre de la Santé Publique, Honorable Invités, Messieurs et Mesdames, C’est un honneur pour moi de prendre la parole ici à HGOPY au nom de la Fédération Camerounaise des Associations pour la Promotion de l’Allaitement Maternel (FECABPA), à l’occasion de la cérémonie officielle marquant le lancement de la 21ième édition de la SMAM. C’est grand jour est l’opportunité d’évaluer les activités depuis 2012, d’échanger les informations et de planifier des activités pour l’avenir. Excellence, Monsieur le Ministre de la Santé Publique, la FECABPA en profite pour remercier l’ensemble des acteurs qui ont pendant les douze mois passées, facilité la mission de notre réseau qui intervienne dans le secteur de la santé en milieu communautaire. Considérant que la FECABPA fait partir du Groupe de Travail d’Hommes de WABA pour le soutien aux mères (WABA Men’s Working Group) et que c’est le Cameroun qui tient la place de leadership du Groupe Mondiale, nous avons participés à la conférence mondiale de l’allaitement maternel qui se tenue à New Delhi en l’Inde du 6 au 9 décembre 2012. Le Bureau du Réseau IBFAN Africa en Swaziland nous soutenu pendant cette participation après le passage de la Coordinatrice Régionale, Mme Joyce Chanetsa, au Cameroun pour l’évaluation de la tendance de l’allaitement maternel au Cameroun.
Depuis la première et deuxième évaluation de la tendance de l’allaitement maternel effectuée au Cameroun en 2009 et 2012, il y a eu une grande évolution : le Ministère de la Santé Publique a mise en œuvre des stratégies qui vise à décentraliser la gestion des activités et à y impliquer tous les partenaires et acteurs de tous les secteurs pour l’atteinte des Objectifs Millénaire de Développement (OMD 4 et 5) pour la réduction de la mortalité infantile. Pendant 21 ans, le Cameroun a participé à la Semaine Mondiale de l’allaitement Maternel comme tous les autres 172 pays à travers le monde entier; et le Cameroun fait partie des 45 pays qui ont évalué la tendance de la nutrition infantile et de l’allaitement maternel, entre 2009 et 2012; Nous notons aussi, Excellence, que le Cameroun est l’un des premiers pays à avoir un code national pour la protection de l’allaitement maternel depuis 2005 et ce code est l’outil qui régularise la commercialisation des substituts du lait maternel dans un pays. Nous profitons de l’opportunité pour remercier l’UNICEF d’avoir reproduit 10.000 exemplaires de notre code cette année. Ceci démontre l’intérêt et l’importance que le Cameroun accorde à cet évènement qui se tient aujourd’hui. La FECABPA opte pour un dialogue constructive pour amener les acteurs a adoptés un changement de comportement en faveur de l’allaitement maternel. Nous collaborons avec les différentes intervenants pour développer les nouvelles stratégies pour la réussite d’un bon allaitement par les mères en ce moment que le pourcentage reste faible. Les chiffres nous interpelle de prendre le temps de faire un regard aux années qui viennent de passé, confirmer les engagements à utiliser les différentes techniques de mobilisation sociale et les différentes approches adaptées au contexte du Cameroun pour sensibiliser nos mères, pères et jeunes.
Le rapport de la première conférence mondiale de l’allaitement en l’Inde a été partagé avec le ministère de la sante publique, UNICEF et autre intervenants. Pour l’avenir, la FECABPA va renforcer l’utilisation des outils et de canaux efficaces tels que les groupes de soutien des mères, les groupes des soutiens des pères et jeunes pour transmettre les bon messages de la nutrition de nos enfants. Les causeries éducatives sont organisées sur la bonne alimentation de nos enfants. 44 associations et plus de cinquante radios communautaires sont impliqués cette année avec l’appui du Ministère de la sante publique, l’OMS, UNICEF, WABA, IBFAN et autres. His Excellency, Our Esteemed and respected Minister of Public Health, FECABPA would like to use this opportunity to express its thanks and gratitude for all the wonderful changes made with the strong involvement of FECABPA in the piloting of community outreach activities throughout Cameroon from this year. Our members have requested that in my capacity as president of our network, I should express their sincere thanks and gratitude to you and your entire governance team. This translates the confidence the government attaches to mutual collaboration and responsible action for the promotion of the wellbeing of our communities. In 2012, we reached over 42.000 mothers through interactive community radio programming and the good news is that, we have been invited to attend the 7th Pan Commonwealth of Learning Forum (PCF7) in Abuja, Nigeria from the 2nd – 6th December , 2013. We would like to appeal to His Excellency, Minister of Public Health, to support the participation of FECABPA at the next African Regional Conference of IBFAN scheduled in Kampala, Uganda in August 2014. IBFAN Africa has made a call for greater involvement of youths in the breastfeeding movement, following the regular increase of teen mothers in our societies today, and Cameroon has to do something with the youths.
Community radio story design programming on mother and child health care in Cameroon has intensified, youths and the handicapped are having their voices heard in different programmes, because they too can make a difference. His Excellency, the Minister of Public Health, with this, we pledge to continue to serve within the rules and regulations put in place by the government through your ministry. We thank the ministry of public health, WHO, UNICEF, WABA, the Commonwealth of Learning, IBFAN, Nutrition Institute of Africa for the continued support, for us to play our role in promoting mother and child health care in Cameroon. Have a nice celebration and Thanks for listening.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

UNICEF Trains Journalists on IYCF Reporting

Helem Ayamba, CAMLINK News Email:
Some 25 Cameroon journalists and Foreign news correspondents attended a one-day workshop on health reporting focused breastfeeding, infant and young child feeding, hygiene and sanitation. The workshop was coordinated by the head of the UNICEF Communication Unit, Laure Bassek. She was accompanied by Dr. Jeanne Ejigui, who coordinates Young Child Protection activities at UNICEF Cameroon, Claire Soppo of UNICEF C4D unit and two senior health techincians from the health promotion department of the ministry of public health, Mahop Esther and Mahamat Ngede Marlyse. Presentations centred on briefing of journalists on the theme of the World Breastfeeding Week 2013 theme focused on breastfeeding support, close to mothers. The received a run down on why the breastfeeding week is celebrated each year, the value and relevance of the theme this year with insistence of exclusive breastfeeding considering that the rate remains around 20% since 2006. The connection of mothers’ nutrition and breastfeeding, principal activities organised in Cameroon with a breastfeeding caravan taking off on the 18th November to the 4th December covering four regions of Cameroon, East, Adamaoua, North and Far North concluded the training sessions. These regions of Cameroon have acute maternal and infant nutrition problems of different categories. Claire Soppo to participants at the workshop that the caravan with focus on the involvement of the tradition leaders, administrative authorities, nutrition NGOs and health delivery agents on the challenges of malnutrition promotion in Cameroon and the best practices. The reasons for involving the traditional leaders, Claire Soppo explained, is because they understand the culture of their communities, they are care takers of the traditions that influence political decisions that lead to behaviour change of populations. The traditional leaders have the power od persuasion of the communities and have the support of the populations. The participants will be guided during the caravn on the advantages of adaptation of essential family positive practices, mobilise proximity community radios to produce at least three programmes with the participation of all the stakeholders mentioned above as a community learning process.
The local authorities will be sensitised on how to prevention malnutrition within their jurisdictions through the promotion of good practice, hygiene and sanitation. At the end of the caravan, each traditional leader, administrative authority, senator, parliamentarian, municipal councillor and leader of civil society organisation would be required to mobilise the population at different levels to get involved and adopt good practices through special interventions. In a presentation prepared by Dr. Jeanne Ejigui, it was said that the world breastfeeding week is an opportunity to support mothers to practice optimal breastfeeding of their babies. It is also an opportunity to furnish peer educators with appropriate relevant information on the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding. The key messages from UNICEF were shared with the journalists before an exciting and very instructive session on the the national code on the marketing of breastmilk substitutes in Cameroon. The journalists laude the effort of the government through the ministry of public for putting a place a national code which could serve as a tool for monitoring trends, The same journalists regretted that the Cameroon national code is toothless and needs to be improved on. On violations, it was observed that rampant incidents have been reported but unfortunately, Cameroon lacks a monitoring institution that could report violations and even follow up infringements in court. As a final observation, it was recommended that Cameroon is a bilingual country and needs to publish an English version of the national code when the contradictory articles would have been revised and a ministerial order of application signed and published.
In a concluding remark, the President of the Federation of Cameroon Breastfeeding Promotion Associations, FECABPA, James Achanyi-Fontem lauded the openness of the participants in highlighted witnesses in the Cameroon government strategy, while requesting that they should not loss hope, because change is a gradual process. He called on the journalists to become the market watch dogs and paly the role of code monitors, because the government and formulae productions companies have humane staff composed of fathers and mothers also. He ended by telling the journalists that exclusive breastfeeding is a child right which must be respected by mothers. The workshop was inscribed as part of the activity sheet of the Federation of Cameroon Breastfeeding Promotion Associations, FECABPA. After the training, a last tripartite session grouping top level authorities of the ministry of public health, UNICEF and FECABPA administrative council was organised to exchange on the platform of collaboration.