Monday, December 28, 2015

Thecla Annaze Achanyi initiated as Ndi Nkem Annaze

By Emma Atangah Efeutlateh, camlinknews
The King Makers' dance with Betroh came out in the palace of Fotabonganchueh to initiate Thecla Annaze, the wife of James Achanyi-Fontem, CEO of Cameroon Link during the funeral celebration of Mafua Emenkeng Fotabonganchueh of Lebialem. Mafua Emenkeng Fotabonganchueh Johanna lived for 113 years before passing into transition and Thecla Annaze was picked from the royal family as successor. With the traditional initiation, she is now known as Ndi Nkem Annaze Achanyi. The traditional ceremony was attended by HRH Foretia of Letia and HRH Fobellah of Bellah under the coordination of HRH Fotabonganchueh. Several traditional dance groups graced the event before a reception with abundant food, meat and wines.
Nkongteyah women's praise dance performed at the Fotabonganchueh Palace in Lebang, Lebialem in honour of Ndi Nkem Annaze. The women showed their traditional dexterity as as a of gender equity promotion. The women lauded the fact that one of theirs was raised to a high traditional leadership position of successor to Mafua Emenkeng Fotabonganchueh who shot the gun during celebrations like men and praises to the almighty creator were pinned on her traditional title. The Alungajaba dance highlighted the tradition of veneration where dancers entered into the scene two by two. It was also an opportunity for initiating young princes and princesses on the Nweh tradition and rituals. During the performance of this dance, Ndi Nkem Annaze, the wife of Achanyi-Fontem was guided by HRH Foretia of Letia. Nkem Annaze Thecla belongs to the Letia dynasty, though married to James Achanyi-Fontem who is a prince of Lebang dynasty. During the traditional dance performance HRH Foretia and Ndi Nkem Annaze held traditional palm wine cups for pouring peaceful grace on the community where the initiation rites were conducted. Video have been brought to you by Cameroon Link for sharing with friends at the end of this story.
The videos were filmed during the initiation of Thecla Annaze Achanyi who later was given the title of Ndi Nkem Annaze at Fotabonganchueh's Palace. She is the successor of Mafua (Queen) Fotabonganchueh Johanna, who live on earth for 113 years before passing into transition in November 2015 at her residence in New Lay out Quarters Mamfe. Nkem Annaze is mother of seven children, four girls and three boys. For more information, click on the following links -, , ,

Friday, December 25, 2015

World Breastfeeding Week 2016

Theme: ‘Breastfeeding - A key to Sustainable Development’
WABA has announced the theme for WBW 2016 World Breastfeeding Week is: ‘Breastfeeding: A key to Sustainable Development’ The WBW 2016 theme focuses on breastfeeding in relation to sustainability, and most importantly to the Sustainable Development Goals. WABA Co-Executive Director, Dr. Amal Omer-Salim, was appointed Key Writer for the WBW 2016 Calendar Announcement, Action Folder etc, working with small team of WABA Steering Committee members, and Core Partner representatives. Dr. Omer-Salim explains that “In very simple terms, sustainable development means development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Breastfeeding is a key to sustainable development. This is particularly through the links between breastfeeding and nutrition and food security; health, development and survival; achieving full educational potential and economic productivity and the fact that breastfeeding is an environmentally sustainable method of feeding compared to the alternatives. In 2016 a new set of universal global development goals will come into being. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) build on the ‘unfinished business’ of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and will guide development agendas for the next 15 years. There are 17 goals that apply to all countries alike, covering broad issues such as climate change and poverty reduction, but also more specific issues including 1) ending hunger and improving both under and over nutrition; 2) ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being; 3) ensuring equitable education, and 4) ensuring sustainable agricultural production and consumption. However, breastfeeding is not explicitly mentioned in any of the goals. Therefore the breastfeeding movement needs to position breastfeeding in as many ways as possible. This will help to ensure that breastfeeding is not forgotten in the new era of the SDGs”. WBW 2016 Objectives are to: 1. To inform people about the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how they relate to breastfeeding and Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF). 2. To firmly anchor breastfeeding as a key component of sustainable development. 3. To galvanise a variety of actions at all levels on breastfeeding and IYCF in the new era of the (SDGs). 4. To engage and collaborate with a wider range of actors around the promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding. The Calendar Announcement is being developed and should be ready for distribution soon. WABA looks forward to actively collaborating with you all for WBW 2016. Wishing you Season’s Greetings, and a very Happy New Year! Jennifer Mourin, Global Coordinator, WABA World Breastfeeding Week (WBW)

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Cameroon Link wishes you a Happy New Year 2016

James Achanyi-Fontem, CEO Cameroon Link
Cameroon Link wishes you a Happy New Year.It is because of your support that we reach millions of followers with the information they need to improve on their health and well-being, keep their family happy and prosperous. In the year 2015 we worked with several farmers, women, mothers and community radio broadcasters like hopeful partners to share information on agricultural improvements, markets, nutrition and health development. We believe that the exchange of information will remain lasting and improve on in the lives of many families. We sincerely thank you for making many change happen for all of us. We use this opportunity to requesr you to visit our new baby at and suggest new ways of collaboration to make the future brigther. Visit our Facebook page this week for more holiday messages from the field, and to learn more about the farmers and broadcasters you have supported this year. Send your own new year greetings through the space for comments on our web site. Share tour gifts of knowledge and voices, along
with a special message to special fathers, mothers and youths. Once again, Happy and Prosperous New Year 2016!

Lenale Ndem UNESCO Club Cruwns Mafua Dorothy Ndikum

By Helen Ayamba,
HRM Fonjinju Tatabong Alexander of Lenale Ndem Palace in Melong, littoral region crowned Mrs. Dorothy Ndikum as Mafua of Befuah (Queen of Chiefs) following her dexterity in coordinating a live CRTV Monday Show in Melong. Mafua Dorothy is sub director of television production of CRTV Mballa II Yaoundé. She decided to produce Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV) Monday Show out of the studio in Melong after one organized in Kumba, meme Division, south west region of Cameroon. Lenalendem Palace situated in Melong, Moungo division, Cameroon was imported from Lebialem some 65 years ago by a woman called Mama Mafuankeng Forminka Esther. She was married to Mbe TATABONG, a native of Lewoh-Lebialem, an ex-German soldier who participated in the First World War in 1914. Many years later, Mafuankeng lost her husband and because of some misunderstanding within the family and because of the need to protect her numerous children, decided to carry them and escape to Melong. The choice of Melong, she said, was because when she got married in her youth, her husband used to trek with her from the village through Dschang-Santchou-Melong and to Bare Market for business reasons. Bare, according to her, had the largest market in the whole region in those days. During her numerous journeys to Bare through Melong, she understood that Melong had fertile soil for farming. Secondly the place was the furthest ; where she could hide her children for security reasons. Concerning the misunderstanding back home, she explained that when her husband died people around her developed some sort of jealousy towards her and the children because of their hard work. While already settled in Melong she started by acquiring a piece of land from the natives to build a house for her and her children and another piece for farming. She started with cocoyams, groundnut, banana, corn, vegetables etc.
When she realised that she had acquired enough to feed her children, she started to build a small shop in the roadside on the Bafoussam-Douala highway. This was to sell some of the crops. She did this with the help of her children. The shop was built with local material and she sold cola nuts, bananas, vegetables, pineapples and groundnut to passengers on their way to and fro. Asked how many children she had left the village with, she answered : « In the Nweh Tradition where I come from, it is forbidden for a parent to count his or her children. If you started counting them God will say you have had enough and may not give you more or even decide to take some away ». This is why each time people asked how many children she had she always answered that it was God alone who knew the number of her children and not her herself.
Within the time, one of the sons, TATABONG Alexander, decided to join the Cameroon Army. The reason was that he wanted to replace his late father as a German soldier. He was recruited and served in the Gendarmerie for 35 years. During these years of service, he went across the country and so created a lot of relationships for himself. Just like his late father, he collected artefacts and carvings from all regions of Cameroon. He added them to what his late father Mbe TATABONG had left. In order to promote what had been started in Melong by his mother Mafuankeng Forminka Esther, he created a museum. With close to 2800 pieces of art and crafts. The government inaugurated a UNESCO Club there and it is today one of the biggest in the country. He has also built a palace in accordance with the mother's plans. It has natural symbols, as God’s Will translated as LENALE-NDEM in Nweh Language of Lebialem. The small shop built by the mother has been transformed into a big commercial centre thanks to the efforts of her son Tatabong Alexander, the whole family and friends. It receives over 10000 visitors daily; be they from Melong community, travellers from West, North West, parts of South West and Mbanga and Douala from Littoral. Tourists also come in to enjoy themselves in the market.
Because of the leadership roles of Tatabong Alexander, he was crowned Chief of Lenalendem Community. A monument for Mama Mafuankeng has also been erected in the centre of the palace. It is 1m 80cm tall and 1m 60cm wide, weighing 1000 Kg (one ton). This monument represents her entirely; showing how she left her native Nweh land with her children to Melong and the present population of Lenalendem. Twenty carvers from different regions of Cameroon too ten years to complete the artistic work. The monument was finished and inaugurated on 7 November 1997. It is placed on the grave of late Mama Mafuankeng in the inner temple of the palace. Tourists and visitors can exceptionally be allowed access only on special traditional days and after the performance of certain rites. Mama Mafuankeng died at the age of 95 leaving behind so many children that she refused to number and we have no right to do so. She created a whole village known today as Lenalendem. The cultural richness of the palace would have attracted CRTV to choose it for organizing the Monday Show which brought together several thousands of spectators and participants the 14th December, 2015.
For more, click on the following links.,,, , ,, ,

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Breastfeeding: Getting Close to Zero for an AIDS-free generation By James Achanyi-Fontem, camlinknews
Cameroon Link joined the rest of the world in celebrating World AIDS Day. Ahead of the event was a whole week dedicated for social mobilization, advocacy, information, education and communication activities aimed at sharing updates. According to an update from the World Alliance for Breastfeeding action, WABA,thirty yearsago the first report appeared documenting transmission of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) through breastfeeding. Breastfeeding by HIV-Positive mothers has never been as safe as it is now in 2015. So long as several easily achievable conditions are fulfilled, the risk of transmission of the virus through mother’s milk can be reduced to almost zero (0-1%).
Breastfeeding remains of crucial importance to the health of HIV-exposed infants since non-breastfed babies experience higher rates of illness and mortality. A recent study shows that the improved immunological and nutrition status enjoyed by breastfed, HIV-exposed infants is especially protective against pneumonia, diarrhoea and sepsis, leading to reduced hospitalisation during the first year of life . Two studies have also shown that when these babies have been exclusively breastfed for 6 months and continued to be breastfed while their mothers adhere to their ART, there is no increased risk of transmission up to 12 months . Breastfeeding by HIV-Positive mothers can be made safe when they: • are diagnosed before or during early pregnancy. • have received full antiretroviral therapy (ART) for at least 13 weeks prior to the birth of their babies. • have an undetectable viral load. • are adherent to their ART. • administer prescribed antiretroviral prophylaxis to their babies from birth to 4 weeks to protect from virus acquired at birth • practise exclusive breastfeeding during their babies’ first 6 months of life. • continue breastfeeding with appropriate complementary foods for up to a year, or even longer, unless or until safe replacement feeding would enhance HIV-free survival. The importance of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, and continued breastfeeding for up to two years or beyond, in accordance with current WHO recommendations cannot be too highly stressed. The evidence for promotion of breastfeeding for all babies continues to grow. The December 2015 month’s special issue of the medical journal Acta Paediatrica contains a summary and ten separate review articles, coordinated by the World Health Organisation, on different aspects of breastfeeding. Topics as diverse as how breastfeeding leads to reduced mortality, higher intelligence, improved growth, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of type 1 diabetes in later life, lower incidence of asthma, allergies, malocclusion, dental caries and otitis media are fully discussed. The series ends with modules outlining how breastfeeding improves the health of women, and how to provide effective interventions to make breastfeeding easier. Current WHO recommendations suggest that ART should be initiated in all individuals who test HIV-positive, including pregnant and breastfeeding women living with HIV regardless of WHO clinical stage and at any CD4 cell count and continued lifelong. Effective antiretroviral treatment, currently available in most settings, can greatly reduce the infectivity of HIV-positive individuals, and antiretroviral prophylaxis is effective in protecting transmission of the virus between sexual partners and between mothers to their children. Thus girls and young women can be protected from primary infection with HIV and infants of already-infected mothers can be protected from transmission during pregnancy, during birth and during breastfeeding. However, fear of stigmatization and discrimination often leads to weak adherence to antiretroviral treatment. Outdated beliefs about the benefits of artificial feeding for HIV-exposed infants, coupled with fear of disclosure of their HIV status if they do not breastfeed, means that many HIV-Positive women will bottle-feed in secret at home, but breastfeed in public, which means that too many HIV-exposed babies are mixed-fed. Mixed feeding places babies at the greatest risk of HIV-transmission. It can be seen that effective treatment with antiretroviral drugs transforms HIV from a lethal to a chronic disease, but fear, stigmatization, discrimination and gender inequality issues are now driving the spread of HIV. Greater acceptance of people living with HIV and better understanding of HIV by society in general will be necessary to tackle current stigma. With sufficient political will, there can be virtually zero transmission of the virus from mothers to their children, including through breastfeeding, meaning that achievement of an AIDS-free generation is finally within the grasp of the global community. It should be noted that exclusive breastfeeding rate for the first si x months of life of babies in Cameroon jas moved from 20% to 28% according to research by the Cameroon Society of Paediatriciams. This was made known during a recent consultative meeting of nutrition promotion stakeholders in the economic capital of Douala. PEPFAR holds consultative meetings with Cameroon media and CSO
Cameroon Link participated in the meetings organized by PEPFAR for media and leaders of Civil Society Organisations (CSO) in Douala ahead of celebrations marking World AIDS Day 2015. PEPFAR is the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the U.S. Government initiative to turn the tide of the HIV/AIDS epidemic around the world. This historic commitment is the largest by any nation to combat a single disease internationally. PEPFAR investments also help alleviate suffering from other diseases. PEPFAR is driven by a shared responsibility among donors and partner nations to make smart investments to save and improve lives. PEPFAR Country Coordinator, Catherine Akom Anjeh briefed journalists on the situation of US contributions and lobbied for collaboration with the civil society organisations, so that aid can reach the right beneficiaries in the rural areas. In Cameroon, PEPFAR began in 2009-2010 and has since grown to an annual budget of about US $26 million. The initiative is administered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Departments of Defense (DoD) and State (DoS), and the Peace Corps. About 15 Cameroonian and international implementing partners conduct field activities, often in collaboration with local sub-partners, in the areas of prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT), prevention of sexual HIV transmission, blood safety, HIV testing and counseling, HIV care and support, laboratory strengthening, strategic information, and other health systems strengthening. All PEPFAR investments are aligned with Cameroon’s National HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan and work to strengthen the capacity of Cameroon’s government, non-governmental and private sectors, and civil society to respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In Cameroon, support groups help soldiers live positively Here are a few testimonies of why we invest on HIV/AIDS campaigns. Sgt. Kristian Kombo, a 36-year-old soldier in the Cameroonian army, was tested HIV-positive in 2008. His father, diagnosed with HIV two years earlier, had kept his status secret, but when Kristian’s wife told him of his son’s diagnosis, he called Kristian and encouraged him not to give up on life. P-I-M-A spells access to care for pregnant women Health worker, Felix A. Andongma, left, carries out a CD4 count test on a pregnant woman using a PIMA machine installed at Mundum. Dorothy is 22 years old and pregnant. Like many women in Mundum in rural northwest Cameroon, she discovered her HIV-positive status during antenatal care, in January 2013. Though at her third pregnancy, Dorothy never tested for HIV during her first two, “because no services were offered at the nearby facility,” she says. Dorothy is not married and relies on the sale of coco yams to care for herself and her two children. When she learned of her HIV status, she felt that her world had come to an end. Partnering to Achieve Epidemic Control in Cameroon The United States (U.S.) is proud to support Cameroon’s leadership in the global HIV/AIDS response. PEPFAR provides service delivery and technical assistance in Cameroon to maximize the quality, coverage, and impact of the national HIV/AIDS response. Working together with the Government of Cameroon, PEPFAR is aligning investments to scale up evidence-based interventions in the geographic areas and populations with the highest burden of HIV/AIDS – in line with PEPFAR. Other key priorities include: • Preventing mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV; • scaling-up access to HIV prevention, care, and treatment among those most in need, particularly key and priority populations; • Supporting health systems strengthening with a focus on improving health information systems, human resources for health, laboratory and blood safety systems, and supply chain management; and • Strengthening the continuum of care and treatment and ensuring linkages in the delivery of HIV prevention, care, and treatment across all levels of care. HIV/AIDS in Cameroon Number of people living with HIV (all ages), 20131 660,000 Deaths due to AIDS (all ages), 20131 34,000 Number of orphans due to AIDS (0-17), 20131 310,000 Estimated antiretroviral (ARV) coverage (adults ages 15+), 20142 23% Estimated percentage of pregnant women living with HIV who receive ARVs for PMTCT, 20142 66% Cameroon Country Operational Plan Executive Summary 2014 Cameroon is a lower-middle-income country with a population of 22 million representing more than 275 ethnic groups. Politically stable, Cameroon achieved economic growth of 4.9% in 2013. The country’s epidemiological profile is dominated by communicable diseases such as malaria and HIV and an increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Maternal mortality is 782 per 100,000 live births; under-5 mortality is 127 per 1,000 live births. Funding for health is about 5% of the Government of Cameroon (GRC) 2013 budget. In 2010, private spending accounted for 70.4% of health expenditures; 13.2% came from external resources and 16.4% from GRC funds (World Bank 2012). The provision of basic services, including HIV/AIDS services, remains a challenge for the government, especially from the regional to the district levels. HIV/AIDS is low on a long list of priorities for the GRC, whose 2014 budget focuses heavily on non-health items. Epidemiology of the HIV epidemic Despite a decrease in HIV prevalence from 5.6% in 2004 to 4.3% (DHS 2011), Cameroon is one of the highest-prevalence countries in Central Africa. Prevalence is high among men who have sex with men (MSM) (37%), female sex workers (FSW) (36%), and pregnant women (7.6%). Other at-risk sub-populations include sero-discordant couples, the uniformed services, long-distance truck drivers (LDTD), economically vulnerable women and girls, migrants, prisoners, and orphans and vulnerable children (OVC). There are marked disparities in HIV rates between women (5.6%) and men (2.9%), with prevalence five times higher among women ages 15-24 than among their male counterparts. Prevalence peaks at 10% among women ages 35-39 and at 6.3% among men ages 45-48. Geographically, prevalence ranges from 1.2% in the far North to 7.2% in the South. Prevalence is higher among urban, employed, and wealthier men and women (DHS 2011). An estimated 5.9% of couples are sero-discordant. About 46% of women and 58% of men have never received an HIV test result. About 542,000 adults (>15 years) and 58,600 children (0-14) are living with HIV, including 275,600 who need antiretroviral therapy (ART) (UNAIDS 2013). There are about 43,000 new infections per year and 333,000 orphans (ages 0-17) due to AIDS. About 31% (7,908/25,360) of TB patients tested for HIV are HIV/TB co-infected, according to the National AIDS Control (NACC) 2012 report, and TB is the leading cause of AIDS-related deaths. The NACC estimates that HIV infections are principally driven by sexual intercourse (88%), including early sexual debut, multiple concurrent sexual partnerships, and transactional and inter-generational sex; mother-to-child transmission (14%); and transfusion of unsafe blood. Women’s risk is heightened by low socio-economic status, gender inequality, and harmful socio-cultural practices. Stigma and discrimination have marginalized people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and key populations (KPs), especially MSM. Status of the national response
Cameroon’s national response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic is led by the inter-ministerial NACC, which coordinates implementation of the recently revised National HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan (NSP) 2014-2017. While this plan targets most major HIV/AIDS program areas, GRC funding has focused mostly on procurement of ARVs, with commitments amounting to more than 60% of national needs. PEPFAR funded 6% of the national HIV/AIDS response in 2012, with 45% of funding coming from the GRC; 44% from the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM); and modest contributions from the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), World Bank, European Union, French Cooperation, UNICEF, and the corporate sector. HIV prevention and testing services have been integrated into all national, regional, and district hospitals in all 10 regions. The NACC estimates the number of ART patients at 130,778 as of December 2013, representing 47.4% coverage. Despite significant progress, the national response is built on a public health system that is under-resourced [REDACTED]. Uptake of PMTCT and other gateway services remains insufficient, particularly in rural areas, and only 42% of pregnant women attend antenatal care (ANC) services. The lost-to-follow-up (LTFU) rate among ART patients after one year is about 38% (GARP 2012). The government’s capacity to mobilize funds for HIV/AIDS remains a major challenge, and with new GFATM funding still in the planning stages and CHAI ending its ARV procurements, uncertain funding horizons and weaknesses in strategic information and supply-chain management continue to haunt program implementation with the specter