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Health Ministry, World Bank Plot Better Services 

By Walter Wilson Nana — The Ministry of Public Health and the World Bank Office in Yaounde have launched a new project to enhance the health of Cameroonians.

At the recent launch of the “Performance Based Finance, PBF” project in the Southwest Region, Secretary General in the Health Ministry, Dr. Fru Angwafor III, said it is a new approach towards reinforcing the national health system.

“We have to make our health services attractive so that the users can come. This is a win-win situation. The workers have better working conditions, they have better pay through bonuses and our health structures are improved through infrastructures, consumables, drugs and more.”

He said the Government of Cameroon has obtained from the World Bank FCFA 12.5 Billion to improve the country’s health, improve upon the working conditions of the staff in the health sector and promote better results on the field.

“This is a three-year pilot project for the Littoral, East, Northwest and Southwest Regions, with the following districts in the Southwest Region benefitting; Buea, Kumba, Mamfe and Limbe,” he mentioned.

According to Dr. Angwafor III, the Government is investing so as to do away with transmissible diseases, improve on mother and child health care, enhance the growth and development strategies of the country, decrease infant and mother mortality and morbidity, work on moves to achieve the MDGs as well as carry out surveys on the field to improve on the performance of health workers.

He cited the case of Rwanda, where strides are made with the PBF, saying; “The stakes are high. This is time for action. We have to provide solutions to our health and our communities. What a way to improve the health indicators of our country.”

The Secretary General in the office of the Southwest Governor, Handerson Quetong Kongeh, corroborated the Health Ministry, while appreciating the efforts of the World Bank in supporting Cameroon’s health sector.

Quetong enjoined stakeholders and institutions involved in the PBF to ensure that Cameroonians have good health.

“This is a strategy to encourage, financially motivate and recognise the health worker in the best possible way. It will get to the man in the street and make way for quality health services from the health personnel to the users. This will lure our people to make use of the health units in our communities,” he said.

The Representative of the World Bank, Gaston Sorgho, said they are out to address the best way possible to serve the population.

“One of the fundamental problems within the health sector is the fact that the productivity of the health professionals is not at the expected level. The government, the beneficiaries and the health workers are not happy with the results on the ground. So, the issue here is how best we can serve the population in real terms; the number of people coming out and the quality of services given to them,” he explained.

The Human Development Expert at the World Bank Office in Yaounde said the health worker will be trained, helped, monitored on how results are produced, evaluated and, based on the results produced; they and their institutions will be remunerated.

“We’ve put in place an independent agency – AEDES/IRESCO Consortium that will train, support, evaluate and report on the performance of the health personnel that will be given bonuses. The more you produce, the more money you will be getting in the project for the benefit of the health personnel and the institution. That is the goal of the Government of Cameroon and the World Bank,” he said.

Dr. Barthes Olivier of the AEDES/IRESCO Consortium said the criteria laid down by the stakeholders of PBF will be strictly respected, saying their operations will begin in June and in September 2012, they will kick-start payments to the deserving health workers and their institutions.

Olivier also said the World Bank, Health Ministry and AEDES/IRESCO Consortium are here to ensure that the pilot project goes on and the people of the aforementioned regions have a better health bill.

First published in The Post print edition no. 01338


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