BCH Africa organised a three-day workshop on tuberculosis prevention for community health workers in Nkongsamba from the 1st to 3rd October, 2015 in collaboration with the ministry of Public Health and the World Bank. Some 26 persons were invited to the training session.
Participants at the workshop came from the health districts of Bonassama, Bonamoussadi,Yabassi, Edea, Manoka and Pouma. The facilitators ere Dr. Elisabeth Fon who coordinayes TBc programme in the littoral region, Dominique Kondji Kongji, the executive director of BCH Africa, Zouboudem Zouboudem and Bikot Samuel, trainers at BCH Africa and Nantchouang Alain of the GTC- PNLT.
Dr. Elisabeth Fon presented the situation of tuberculosis in the littoral region, including the method of the spread of the disease and strategies of prevention during an interactive session with the 20 participants put together from the health districts, and the municipal councils, representatives of NGos and community based organisation.
Dominique Kondji Kondji emphasized on the rights and responsibilities of TBc patients, made an analysis of the techniques of communication and advocacy, the forces, weaknesses and opportunities to be put into consideration during prevention of tuberculosis in Cameroon.
Speaking on communication for behaviour change, he called on the participants to emphasize on advocacy at the level of local authorities by involving them in the prevention action, so that they may support the programme materially and financially.
Zouboudem Zouboudem said, the Nkongsamba workshop was the third phase and that another was planned in Buea for the south west region. BCH Africa is covering the Littoral and south west regions according to the World Bank subvention.
Dr. Fon said tuberculosis is contagious and that if any person has cough which persists for two weeks and above, it is necessary for he or she to go to the closest treatment centre for a diagnosis and reception of free treatment. All a person needs to spend is CFA 1.000. The treatment received for nine months is free of any charge. There are over 200 treatment centre created by the ministry of public health in Cameroon. The TBc worksho trianer regretted that patients are stigmatized and this discourages some patients from continuing the treatment to the end. He told the trainees to spread the information that tuberculosis is curable. Persons with Hiv need to be very careful because the disease spreads more easily in their case and can lead to death.
Advocacy and social mobilisation is done through community radio stations in the various health districts hosting treatment centres. At the end of the workshop, the participants grouped themselves per district and designed a reinforcement of capacity action plan which included advocacy and social mobilisation and advocacy for community health workers.Cameroon link was selected as one of the community outreach organisation for Bonassama Health Distri
James Achanyi-Fontem, is a Senior Health Journalist and Communication Consultant. He worked as a health journalist and broadcaster for 30 years with Radio Cameroon and later Cameroon Radio Television, CRTV before retiring in 2005 to engage fully with Cameroon Link (Human Assistance Programme). Cameroon Link is a registered charity, not-for-profit organisation involved in the promotion of community health, humanitarian assistance, promotion of women and child rights through involvement of communities in Cameroon for mother and child health care. Cameroon Link is a partner to Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Farm Radio International (FRI), International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN Africa), World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). As the intermediary of Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Cameroon Link is engaged to implement a Cameroon Rural Radio story design Programming through an investigative research, which aims to discover through interviewing beneficiaries of health programmes on their interests, documenting and disseminating new ideas about how radio stations produce and air Healthy Communities Radio Programs in Cameroon.