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World Bank To Enhance Quality Of Health In Cameroon 

By Clerance Forchu*

CameroonPostline.com — The World Bank has put the sum of FCFA 25 billion at the disposal of Cameroon’s Health Sector to be used for its enhancement.
 

This was made known to the press by the Sector Lead, Head of Human Development for Africa, Gaston Sorgho, of the World Bank in Yaounde on September 7, 2012. The Health Sector Support Investment Project is aimed at improving the quality of health services in Cameroon. Particular focus will be on the improvement of child and maternal health, and communicable diseases like Malaria, AIDS and Tuberculosis, TB. 
 

“The reason for this support by the World Bank is to help Cameroon achieve better health and nutrition outcomes,” the Health Sector Support Investment Project document of the World Bank states. Such outcomes will lead to accelerated and sustained economic growth and also to poverty reduction. Then, in the long run, it could enable Cameroon attain the Health and Nutrition Millennium Development Goals, MDGs.
 

To achieve this, the Government, in collaboration with development partners, has instituted the preparation of Multi-partner Supported Health Sector Development Programme. It will be carried out using a sector-wide Approach, SWAP, under the patronage of the Ministry of Health. The proposed strategy will facilitate the implementation of the updated Health Sector Strategy, while building local capacity and producing rewarding results on the ground.
 

The updated Health Sector Strategy is a plan drawn by stakeholders from the Health Ministry to be followed for the enhancement of health in the country. It was drawn in collaboration with development partners, with a strong focus on key health issues in Cameroon, in line with the MDGs. For the purpose of monitoring the achievement of the project, development objectives, several indicators will be checked.
 

The percentage of children who are less than 12 months old, immunised for DPT3, will be checked; the percentage of births attended to by skilled professionals; the percentage of children under five sleeping under treated bed nets before the survey; the TB treatment success rate; and the percentage of patients who report their satisfaction with the health services. The reports will then determine whether the indicators will be reviewed, negotiated or enhanced.
 

To ensure the effective use of the loan, a lot of measures have been taken. A procurement specialist has been engaged, an accountant, an internal auditor and elaborate terms of reference which will be put in place for an external auditor. According to the World Bank, its contribution will go a long way to strengthen the visibility and credibility of Government’s programmes and also leverage resources from other partners.
 

The context that has influenced the loan is the fact that, since the 1990s, key indicators of child health and nutrition have been very poor and almost stagnant. There has also been the inefficiency in the allocation of resources in the production of health services. Also, the health sector lags behind that of others in the region and, therefore, puts Cameroon almost off the track of the pursuit of the MDGs.

The monitoring and evaluation of the sector has also remained weak. The health sector performance has always been hindered by the system of governance and the Health Sector Strategies have always had a lot of shortcomings. These and other reasons have warranted the need for the revamping of the health sector and, consequently, attracted the help of the World Bank. 
 

Partners, so far, include; the German Development Assistance, the African Development Bank,ADB,the United Nations Children Emergency Fund,UNICEF,and the World Health Organisation,WHO. It should be noted that in earnest, the project started in 2006 and, so far, some districts in Cameroon are already benefitting from it.
 

*UB Journalism Student On Internship
 

First published in The Post print edition no 01374

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