Cameroon

Cameroon won its independence in 1961, and has been relatively stable and peaceful since then. However, because of this security, Cameroon has become a magnet for refugees from neighboring Central African countries, where violence, disease and hunger are widespread. Tens of thousands of people from Chad, the Central African Republic (CAR) and Nigeria have fled into Cameroon, which struggles to meet the needs of these resource-poor populations. Despite its success, Cameroon has limited resources: about 40 percent of the country’s population still lives below the poverty line.

International Medical Corps works along Cameroon’s eastern border, where thousands of refugees from the CAR have settled. We provide basic health care, including maternal and child health care, immunization, and supplemental feeding services in the Djohong and Meiganga districts of the underserved Adamaoua region and Mokolo district in the Far North region. We also deliver health care via mobile medical units (MMUs) that make services available to approximately 12,000 people throughout the region. To help address the prevalence of malnutrition among refugees, International Medical Corps provides nutritional supplements to mothers and young children. We are also helping Cameroonians to strengthen local health care capacity by training traditional birth attendants and other health care providers throughout the country.

International Medical Corps has responded to a deadly cholera outbreak in northern Cameroon. We provided cholera responses in the Mokolo sub-division in the Far North, where the outbreak was centered and in Djohong, Meiganga and Tibati districts in Adamoua region. Our comprehensive cholera services include treatment, surveillance, water and sanitation support, infection control, social mobilization and prevention services.

QUICK FACTS

  • Population

    Population
    23.1 Million

  • age

    Median Age
    18.3 Years

  • life

    Life Expectancy
    57.35 Years

  • life

    Refugees
    226,368

  • life

    Fertility Rate
    4.82 children per mother

  • Infant Mortality Rate

    Infant Mortality Rate
    55.1 deaths/1000 live births

OUR PROGRAMS IN CAMEROON

  • Population

    Primary Health Care

  • Population

    Gender-based Violence

  • Population

    Nutrition

  • Population

    Mental Health and Psychosocial Support


CURRENT PROGRAMS

Primary Health Care

International Medical Corps works in rural and underserved areas, providing basic health care services to both refugee and host populations via 25 Mobile Medical Units, supporting Ministry of Health (MoH) clinics and hospitals, as well as training local health workers to strengthen capacity. Our services in Cameroon include:

  • Preventive and curative services through Mobile Medical Units, followed by referrals to district health facilities for patients requiring more comprehensive care
  • Reproductive health services, including ante-and post-natal care
  • Comprehensive primary health care including vitamin A administration, long lasting insecticide-treated net distribution, malaria and acute respiratory illness case management, and the use of oral rehydration salts to treat diarrheal disease
  • Provision of essential drugs and supplies to Mobile Medical Units
  • Provision of vital drugs and medical equipment to the Djohong and Meiganga health districts and to other Ministry of Health facilities
  • Outreach and awareness campaigns to communicate the range of medical services offered

In addition, International Medical Corps prioritizes the training of Ministry of Health staff, birth attendants and community health workers to ensure program sustainability. To date, we are the only international NGO providing health, nutrition and sexual and gender-based violence support in the Adamaoua Province.

Gender-based Violence

International Medical Corps provides support and increased access to quality health services for survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) in Cameroon’s Djohong district. Additionally, we implement community awareness campaigns to prevent further sexual and gender-based violence. In addition to providing emergency medical and reproductive services for GBV survivors from both refugee and host populations, we also offer psychosocial support and peer education for vulnerable groups.
International Medical Corps coordinates with local social workers to ensure that survivors are given ongoing care and support. We also work to prevent sexual and gender-based violence and to reduce the stigma surrounding discussion of the topic through educational outreach and advocacy sessions in local communities. We help children and teen survivors reintegrate into schools and the community’s social life, and offer income-generation activities for older survivors. In Djohong, International Medical Corps also trains paralegals to maximize judicial system protection for survivors. Working with locals - particularly community leaders – we also devise effective community-level strategies to prevent sexual and gender-based violence.

Nutrition

In response to high malnutrition and stunting rates within the refugee populations in Cameroon, particularly in the eastern region of the country, International Medical Corps began a comprehensive, nationwide nutrition program. Our services include nutrition screenings and supplementary and therapeutic feeding activities for children under five and for pregnant and lactating women. We also improve household nutrition practices through community outreach. Our local teams work with Ministry of Health staff to offer nutrition education and culinary demonstration sessions. We teach families how to get the most out of the food they have, and have also helped initiate community vegetable gardens to promote the consumption of healthier foods.

RESOURCES

Cameroon Capabilities Statement

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