For the past 4 years, Cameroon has seen a socio-political crisis emerge in the North West and South West Regions of the country known as the Anglophone Regions. The unrest which started in 2016 has progressively escalated into an armed conflict between secessionists and government security forces, disruption of basic services and public infrastructure, and subsequent large displacement of population which has led to increased food insecure homes. 10 % of IDPs are living remote areas, often in farm huts, bushes and the forests. (MSNA September 2019).The onset of covid19 pandemic in March 2020, introduced new threats to children and vulnerable communities worsening the situation in the NW/SW regions.
Morbidity (malaria, cough and diarrhea), poor sanitary conditions remained accelerated in 2020. Access to health care still remains a challenge due to insecurity and persistent attacks on healthcare as this constituted a huge threat to the availability of essential health care to the populations. 71% of the facilities are functional with majority (58%) of IDPs not able to access health care due to distance (45%) and financial constraints (17%). Furthermore, weak disease surveillance system has put the population at risk of epidemics with late detection and limited response capacity with repeated pockets of cholera outbreak have been reported in SW (MSNA, 2020). 26 % of persons affected by the NW/SW crisis are going.
Health is primordial for the development of any society. A majority of health centers in Cameroon face severe challenges. They are either understaffed or have unqualified staff. A majority of the health centers lack basic health equipment and appropriate health infrastructures. Most clinics with few staff are often unable to attend to all their patients. Some patients become impatient waiting and prefer to turn to auto medication, which is sometimes fatal. In some health centers the staffs are unqualified and subsequently resort to wrong prescription or wrong diagnosis of medication which causes severe health damage.
Within the domain of humanitarian response, SHUMAS in partnership with UNICEF has provided basic preventive and curative treatment among children 0-5 years and pregnant women in 12 health districts in the North and South West regions of Cameroon. In partnership with WFP are also preventing acute malnutrition in children 6-23months and pregnant and lactating women by providing nutritious food and screening them in Bui and Donga Mantung divisions. We have also provided Vitamins, deworming medications and micronutrients in 5 health districts in the North West with our partner Vitamin Angel UK. SHUMAS in partnership with UNDP, implemented a Covid project by training and providing women with startup materials on how t0 produce face mask, hand sanitizers, sensitized population on Covid 19 preventive measures and screening elderly using thermoflash.
In other areas, SHUMAS and its partners continue to implement development activities through construction of schools, health centers, provide equipment, provide scholarship for poor under-privileged children from rural communities to study nursing, construct water catchment centers, construct boreholes for communities etc. Our scope of coverage is nationwide but within the NW and SW we are mainly involved in humanitarian assistance
To contribute towards the achievement of SDG 2 to ensure healthy lifestyles and promote wellbeing for all at all ages by improving on the health status of those living in peasant communities through enhancing their access to essential health care services through humanitarian response, training of nurses from poor rural communities for village health Centers, construction/refurbishment of health centers.
- Improve access to essential health care services.
- Reduce maternal and child mortality.
- Engage community sensitization on contraception, humanitarian services, HIV and intersectoral linkages with health, WASH and other sectors using the Essential Family practices.
- Support poor rural communities through training, refurbishment and construct.