Monday, September 8, 2014

Cameroon Infant and Young Child Feeding Strategy Validated (2014 - 2020)

By James Achanyi-Fontem, camlinknews Email:
A workshop to launch the multi-sectored platform for validation of the road map for reduction of chronic malnutrition in Cameroon was organised from the 18th – 20th August 2014 in Douala. Supported financially by UNICEF, it brought together actors from the ministry of social affairs, public healh, trade, women and family promotion, animal breeding and fisheries, higher education, territorial administration, plan and regional development, HKI, OFSAD, Plan, ACMS, UNICEF, WFP, WHO, UNHCR. UNFPA and FAO. The deliberations were coordinated by the Director for Health Promotion, Dr. Cheumaga Bernard who was assisted by Okala Georges, Sud Director for food and nutrition. Within four days, the participants in four groups discussed the national strategic plan for Infant and Young Child Feeding covering the period 2014 – 2020. Issued treated were related to feeding of the young girl, pregnant woman and lactating mother, early initiation of breastfeeding from the first hour after birth for the first six months with the necessity to give colostrum to the baby and optimal breastfeeding up to 24 months and beyond. Complimentary feeding and the fortification of foods took greater space as a means to reduce malnutrition as well as breastfeeding In difficult and exceptional situations of emergency, poverty, malnutrition, HIV and child illnesses. On communication, it was emphasized that there has to be a lot of advocacy for social change and social mobilisation of communities for behaviour change communication. The Innocenti Declaration and BABY Friendy Hospital Initiative associated to Community Baby Friendly Initiative were used as tools to illustrate operational objectives. As far as the application of priority measures was concerned, it turned out that five reports had to be established covering protection of breastfeeding, encouragement, support to health systems and within the communities without forgetting one on infant and yound child feeding support in difficult and exceptional situations. The different partners had to establish their contributions and obligations for the achievement of the planned goals with the involvement of government, interested parties, professional health associations, non-governmental organisations, enterprises, social partners and international organisations. It was observed that infant mortality of children below 5 has not evolved in Cameroon since 1991. The studies carried out show that bad feeding practices of infants are at the origin of 29% of deaths of children below 5 years, while chronic malnutrition is very high. The number of malnourished children is on the increase during to babies born by seropositive mothers. This reduces the intellectual output and productive performance of the population affected. For this reason, the formulation of a pertinent strategy for infant and young child feeding would necessary to reverse the situation in Cameroon, especially in a situation confronted by recurring diarrhoea diseases, yellow fever, malaria, respiratory channel infections covering 20 to 70 % of the cases notified and attributed to malnutrition. This worsens the already discouraging poverty margin of the population. The current infant and young child feeding strategy has been put in place within the following guidelines; • Identification of pertinent and realistic interventions which have worked well elsehere. • Insistence on mother and family support to permit them play a crucial role in the good development of their children. • It defines the obligations and responsibilities of the government, national and international organisations and other parties. • Identification of priority axes at the different levels of intervention. • Identification of key actors • Definition of strategies to be put in place to achieve the objectives of infant anf young child feeding.

Fight Against Malnutrition Intensifies in East & Northern Cameroon

By James Achanyi-Fontem, camlinknews Email:
The Cameroon government has recognised that malnutrition in the east and northern regions of the country is a public health issue. This is justified by the creation of an intermisiterial committee to fight malnutrition by the Prime Minister, Philemon Yang on the 20th August 2014. The order no. 076/CAM/PM acknowledges the adhesion of the government to the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement. The interministerial committee is an organisation for consultation, coordination, and orientation of strategies for the fight against malnultrition in the north regions and the east. It will identify and conceive actions to be realised within the context of the programme. It will guarantee the development of the multi-sectored programme for the fight against malnutrition by involving different actors from the state, local collectivities, private sector , United Nation Agencies and non governmental organisations. The interministerial committee will mobilise resources internally nd externally in favour of reduction of malnutrition in the different sectors. The ministries involved are agriculture, animal breeding and fisheries, financs, economy, women’s promotion, water and energy, social affairs and trade. The president of the committee can call and invite persons with special competence to assist in the execution of projects. The committee meets once every six months to evaluate its activities.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

2nd SUFI Regional Coordination Meeting Holds in Douala

By James Achanyi-Fontem, camlinknews
The Littoral Regional Delegate for Public Health in the Littoral, Dr. Yamba Martin Beyas, presided over the 2nd coordination meeting of SUFI District Civil Society Organisation, CSO, on September 4, 2014 in the presence of IRESCO Project Coordinator, Mrs. Ahouma Etamba Valerie, the Littoral Regional Field Supervisor, Tchana Eric and the head of the Malaria prevention unit, Dr. Nwali. The deliberations of the principal actors in the execution of Scaling Up Malaria prevention for Impact as an opportunity to evaluate the level of progress made since the first meeting took place on the 10th April, 2014. Difficulties encountered were exposed and recommendation made to close the gaps and outcome weaknesses. Presenting the objectives and awaited results, Mrs. Ahouma Etamba, emphasized on the contractual obligations of the SUFI civil society organisations, quality of supervision reports received, promptitude of the quarterly reports, quality of home visits and validation of work done by the community health workers. The head of malaria prevention unit in the regional delegation, Dr. Nwali explained the activities carried out by the principal recipient no.1 including the recent training of community health workers on the use of malaria kits and prescription of treatment for simple malaria within their communities. Discussing recommendations, the Field Supervisor, Tchana Eric, presented the 8th semester action plan for the littoral and coached the CSOs on how to build their respective terms of reference s. He also addressed issues related to difficulties encountered on the field, challenges and solutions. Financial management problems were treated by Mrs. Ebenye Nathalie, the project account assistant, who spoke about the incoherence in reporting and the quality of financial data presented for justification of SUFI expenditure. The regional delegate for health, Dr. Yamba Beyas acknowledged that the presence of all the District CSOs at the meeting was proof of the determination and engagement to support activities public health in general and malaria in particular. He added that the daily activities of CSOs contribute to the development of the different communities in general and to the promotion of public health in particular. With this, Dr. Yamba prescribed franl collaboration at all levels for the smooth progress of activities. Partnership of activities at the level s of the community, district and region remain a powerful engagement that accelerates progress. There are 227 community health workers engaged in the SUFI project in the Littoral and south west regions. 4354 community health workers are covering all the regions. 130 CSOs are engaged throughout Cameroon for the second phase of SUFI ending in December 2015.