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Healthcare in Cameroon
In 2010, the World Health Organization reported that for every 10,000 Cameroonians, there were 7.8 nurses and midwives and 1.1 physicians. In contrast, neighboring Nigeria had 16.1 nurses and midwives and four physicians. Rural areas in Cameroon had the fewest healthcare workers. A 2015 study further showed that money was an indicator of whether university students sought out healthcare treatment. The study also reported that the treatment and prevention of malaria, a disease that’s been linked to poverty, requires spending about 40% of family incomes. While access to treatment is limited, several organizations are working to improve access to healthcare in Cameroon. Here are five organizations that have improved the healthcare system.

The World Bank

From 2008 to 2017, The World Bank worked to improve healthcare in Cameroon through the Health Sector Support Investment Project. The World Bank provided additional funding to strengthen and scale-up healthcare institutions and improve the monitoring of vulnerable individuals. When the project concluded, it had helped about 3 million women in Cameroon.

The World Bank reported that the project also positively impacted immunizations, childbirth and healthcare access. Around 380,000 children were immunized. Skilled medical professionals helped with about 306,395 births. The number of people in Cameroon with access to “health, nutrition, or reproductive health services” reached 6.8 million. Overall, the project benefitted at least 7.4 million Cameroonians.

USAID and ECOBANK

USAID partnered with Ecobank in order to provide additional funding for healthcare in Cameroon, specifically to support local small and medium enterprises that offer health services. In 2016, USAID and Ecobank gave $3.7 million in funding in the form of loans to impactful organizations, specifically those focused on the health of women and children.

Management Sciences for Health

In 2012, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) partnered with the local Ministry of Health in order to improve healthcare in Cameroon. The organizations still have a partnership today. MSH has worked on improving family planning and reproductive healthcare, as well as improving healthcare practices when it comes to treating and preventing malaria, TB and HIV.

As a result of MSH’s efforts, 3,431 Cameroonians received contraception, and 10,497 women received education on family planning between October 2015 and September 2016. Information and referrals were provided to 13,000 women for reproductive health and family planning. Pre-birth counseling increased by 49% with the help of MSH’s Leadership Development Program. The program also increased postpartum counseling by 59%.

During 2016, healthcare facilities reported that antiretroviral medicines, which can be used to treat HIV, were out of stock only 9% of the time — down from 100% in 2014. Of 129 HIV treatment and prevention sites, 87% had “complete patient information” at the end of 2015, which helped keep track of HIV patient data. MHS also created the West Africa HIV & AIDS Commodity Tracking Tool and began using it to gather data to help HIV program managers make informed decisions.

MHS also helped with a national program to control malaria, increased the capacity of healthcare institutions to help with “torture rehabilitation” and improved management of tuberculosis through an internet tool called “e-TB Manager.”

International Medical Corps

The International Medical Corps works in Cameroon to train medical professionals and help with the provision of medical supplies. The organization extends to rural areas, as well as any areas that lack access to healthcare in Cameroon. The Medical Corps provides “preventive and curative services, mental health and psychosocial support services (MHPSS) and reproductive health services including ante- and post-natal care to both refugee and vulnerable host populations.” In 2018, The International Medical Corps reported providing 81,266 healthcare consultations to Cameroonians during a three-month time frame.

The Global Citizens Initiative

In 2013, the Global Citizens Initiative launched the Cameroon Healthcare Access Program. It was created to address the corruption present in Cameroon’s healthcare system. The World Justice Project reported that some citizens were forced to pay when seeking medical attention that should have been “free under the law.”

The goals of this project include addressing corruption through a National Healthcare Access Coalition, raising awareness about governmental healthcare policies, ensuring consumers are aware of their “basic right to healthcare” and tracking changes as the program progresses. When interviewed about the project in 2013, Tarh Frambo, Country Director of the Global Citizens Initiative in Cameroon, said that “the fund is going to help us implement our project on the Cameroon healthcare access, which aims at stemming the practice of corruption as it manifests itself in the public healthcare system of the country.” According to the World Justice Project, the program is still active and will decrease corruption and help give communities more access to healthcare in Cameroon.

In 2014, an update on the project showed that a “national coalition of multidisciplinary stakeholders” had been formed to address corruption. The coalition held workshops on the pros of being corruption-free and on healthcare law overall. Public service announcements were also being used to inform citizens about their healthcare rights.

Conclusion

The numbers show that access to healthcare in Cameroon is an ongoing problem. Since the WHO’s 2010 fact sheet on healthcare in Cameroon, however, The World Bank, USAID and ECOBANK, MSH, the International Medical Corps, and the Global Citizens Initiative have created programs that improved the healthcare system for the people of this country, leading to greater coverage and treatment for Cameroonians in need.

– Melody Kazel
Photo: Flickr

msh
Management Sciences for Health (MSH) has one mission: to save lives and improve health of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable by closing the gap between knowledge and action in public health. This global health non-profit organization uses proven approaches to help leaders, health managers, and communities in developing countries create stronger health systems for a greater health impact. Since its founding in 1971, MSH has left its mark in over 150 countries working with policy makers, health care consumers, and health professionals to improve the overall availability, affordability and quality of health services.

The work of MSH is centered on four core beliefs and values: effective local leaders and local institutions are key to creating lasting health impact; health is a basic human right, realized through healthy living conditions and access to health care for all; healthy people and communities are more able to contribute to economic growth and political stability; and better evidence to scale up current methods and technologies will fuel widespread health impact.

Since it’s founding, MSH’s operations have been based on the 3,500 year old Tao (Way) of Leadership, working shoulder-to-shoulder with local partners and colleagues and empowering them to succeed. In the 1960s, MSH’s founder Dr. Ron O’Connor, was taught the principles of the Tao of Leadership by Dr. Noobora Iwamura, a mentor and friend. Dr. Iwamura, as the only survivor of his high school class in the Hiroshima bombing, decided to lead a life of service in the remote, rural areas of Nepal. Through his work he discovered that creating sustainable changes meant much more than medical care on its own: it meant engaging communities actively in their own health needs.

The mission and work of MSH is based on Dr. Iwamura’s concern that communities be empowered with the knowledge of solutions to basic health problems and challenged to take control of their own health. These values are resonated today in MSH’s staff of over 2,400 based in over 65 countries. MSH focuses its efforts on strengthening health systems in the priority health areas: HIV & AIDS; tuberculosis; family planning and reproductive health; maternal, newborn, and child health; malaria and other communicable diseases; and chronic diseases.

In the organizations’ 2012 Annual Report, MSH outlined universal health coverage (UHC) as the framework for maximizing health impact. More than 50 countries have achieved universal health coverage, with an additional 50 countries working towards the same goal. MSH is contributing to this UHC movement through its coordination with local communities to develop health system innovations, such as the scaling up of community health shops, and by directly building local ability to deliver health services through training health workers and staff. There is much work to be done, but MSH is pushing to make effective healthcare available to anyone in need.

– Ali Warlich

Sources: MSH,WHO

management-sciences-for-health

Management Sciences for Health (MSH) is a nonprofit advisory organization that helps developing nations build strong, sustainable health systems. They operate under the belief that health is a human right that should be available to everyone, and they have worked for over 40 years in over 150 countries to change global healthcare practices that contradict that ideal.

MSH currently has offices located in over 50 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. They work with governments and health professionals to provide capabilities in leadership, human resource management, education and finance to improve the quality, availability and affordability of health services in priority health areas, including:

– HIV & AIDS

– Tuberculosis

– Malaria

– Maternal, Newborn and Child Health

– Family Planning and Reproductive Health

– Chronic non-communicable diseases.

Management Sciences for Health helps vulnerable communities build locally-owned health systems because they believe that strong health systems are the most sustainable way to improve the global health shortage.

MSH’s vision for the future is one of continued progress in their mission to ensure everyone has the opportunity to live a long, healthy life. They will continue to improve the health of the world’s most vulnerable people by advocating for universal health coverage, continuing to implement programs that empower people and strengthen health institutions, contributing to global health research efforts, and developing health systems innovations.

Dana Johnson

Source: MSH WHO
Photo: MSH

partnership-supply-chain-management
Here are ten facts about the Partnership for Supply Chain Management (PFSCM).

  1. The Partnership for Supply Chain Management is a nonprofit organization established in 2005 by two of the leading international health consultancy organizations in the U.S.—JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. (JSI) and Management Sciences for Health (MSH), both nonprofits.
  2. PFSCM’s goal is to ensure reliable availability of essential products to programs in the developing world and to strengthen national supply chains to become sustainable mechanisms for delivering these products to clients.
  3. Through its innovative projects, PFSCM procures and distributes essential medicines and supplies, provides technical assistance to strengthen existing supply chains and collaborates with in-country and global partners to coordinate efforts in these areas.
  4. PFSCM is not a traditional procurement services agent in that it takes a holistic approach to delivering integrated supply chain services (from quantification and forecasting to delivery) to ensure commodity security for its clients. PFSCM shares its forecasts and quantifications with vendors and other international organizations supporting health services to the developing world. In times of short supply, the organization works to minimize the effects of shortages for all stakeholders, not just its own clients.
  5. PFSCM assists countries in determining and implementing the most appropriate strategy for each supply chain component, whether managed internally or outsourced, to achieve best value.
  6. PFSCM is made up of a staff of more than 400 from team member organizations that include nonprofit organizations, commercial private sector corporations, and academic institutions, providing all the technical skills needed to ensure reliable availability of essential products to international development programs.
  7. Since PFSCM was established in 2005, it has delivered health commodities to countries in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean and helped strengthen supply chains in more than 20 countries throughout the developing world.
  8. PFSCM has the physical presence of team member field offices in over 90 countries.
  9. Currently, PFSCM is implementing two projects that aim to reduce the worldwide impact of HIV & AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. The first program, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), was launched to combat global HIV & AIDS—the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease in history. The second program, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is a major financing institution in the fight against these diseases in 140 countries.
  10. If an organization is interested in procuring items through PFSCM click here. Requested information includes organization details, products you require, quantities, funding availability and funding source, product delivery details, and the level of urgency of your requirement.

– Kira Maixner
Source PFSCM
Photo UNJLC