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Cameroon HIV Prevalence Rate Dropping – Prof Ondobo 

By Francis Tim Mbom

CameroonPostline.com
— The Inspector of Medical and Paramedical Services in the Ministry of Public Health, Prof Gervais Ondobo Andre, has said HIV prevalence rate in Cameroon has dropped to about 4.2 percent.

The 4.2 percent means that some 820.000 or so Cameroonians out of an estimated total of 20 million are probably living with the virus. Prof. Ondobo was talking to The Post in Limbe, on Thursday, May 10, as he opened a three-day workshop grouping over 30 medical doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians from the Southwest Region and Germany, specialised in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

“I think the current prevalence rate is 4.2 percent and it is a situation that offers hope,” Ondobo noted. And with Government’s continuous efforts geared towards stemming the spread of the virus, Ondobo said the rate will further drop.

It was the fourth time that medics working in the area of care for HIV and AIDS patients from the University of Rostock in Germany were meeting with their counterparts of the Regional Hospital in Limbe. The Director of the Limbe Hospital, Dr. Thompson Kinge, said it was a “conference of continuous medical education for the management of HIV and AIDS organised by an NGO known as ESTHER.”

He said that for the past three years, the Hospital has benefit equipment from Germany as well as has had many of its staff trained in Germany in fields like molecular biology. The knowledge from the training, he added, has empowered the Limbe Hospital to diagnose with certainty some opportunistic infections like pneumocystis pneumonia, which they could not do at first.

Besides, Kinge said, German medical officials have carried out research on some tropical diseases following their partnership for the past four years with Rostock University. Prof. Ondobo, meanwhile, expressed the wish to see the Limbe-Rostock University partnership extended to other hospitals in Cameroon.

On his part, the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine in the University of Rostock, Prof. Emil Reisinger said since October 2008, when the agreement was reached, some ten staff members from the Limbe Hospital have been trained in Germany while ten of their students have also benefited from training and experience in Cameroon.

While efforts are being multiplied daily to arrest the HIV and AIDS situation, the Government Delegate to the Limbe City Council, Andrew Motanga Monjimba, warned that poverty, which he said was AIDS related, should not be forgotten.

“Sub-Saharan Africa holds two-thirds of all the HIV cases the world over…and sub-Saharan Africa is home to the major agents of poverty in Africa. Poverty is working in close collaboration with HIV and in tandem with ignorance, culture, taboo practices, natural and man made disasters,” Motanga said.

Nevertheless, Motanga said that by further strengthening multilateral cooperation, mobilising local resources among other things can help Government and stakeholders successfully wage a strong fight against the disease.

First published in The Post print edition no. 01344
 

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