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Cameroon Intensifies Fight Against Infant, Maternal Mortality 

By Jasmine Enjema* — Cameroon is not only fighting for political and economic growth but also for the improvement on health sector. In a bid to achieve the Millennium Development Goal s 4 & 5 that involves the protection of the mother and her child, all health centres of the Buea Health District are presently sensitising their community on how their women and children can be safe and healthy.

The Chief of Buea Town Health Centre, Mariana Masango, explains that, in some areas in country, like in Buea, there still exist some traditional birth attendants at home and that it could be very dangerous, considering that they do not have the necessary equipment and skills to carry out deliveries which could lead to death of the mother or child or both. This is compounded by the fact that some women neglect early registering for ante natal care, especially young girls, either because they are scared or ignorant about its importance.

“It is in this light that we have been empowered in partnership with some volunteered members of the various communities in Buea Health District, to carry out a massive sensitisation on the public for behavioral change in order to avoid infant and maternal mortality,” Masango said. She further explained that a meeting is held every month with each community’s Chairman to draw plans on how to go about their objectives.

However, there is a new programme being implemented in the health sector, known as the Performance Based Financing, where health units are encouraged to yield qualitative and quantitative output.  This programme, sponsored by some institutions like IRESCO and AIDES, have put in place rewards for efficient medical practices, hence making the health sector more competitive and efficient in their services. This is already going on in some health units in Buea as they are already benefiting.

Susan Ndem asserted that she has noticed recently a change in the way nurses treat their patients. “Last year, my younger sister was in labour and I brought her to the hospital. The nurses were practically rude and even insulted my sister during labour. I almost fought because of it but it was all different this year when I had my baby, since the nurses where so supportive and made things easy for me.”

*(UB Journalism Student On Internship)

First published in the Post print edition no 01472

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