27 October 2017

Cameroon: Maternal, Infant-Child Mortality - Government's Remedial Measures Outlined

Below is the press release following the Cabinet meeting of October 26, 2017 chaired by Prime Minister, Head of Government Philemon Yang in Yaounde.

"The Prime Minister, Head of Government, His Excellency Philemon YANG, this Thursday 26 October 2017 chaired a Cabinet Meeting at 9 a.m. at the Prime Minister' s Office.

Apart from his close aides, the Meeting was attended by Ministers of State, Ministers, Ministers Delegate and Secretaries of State.

Two items featured on the agenda namely:

1-Statement by the Minister of Public Health on "implementation status of the national multi-sector programme for the fight against maternal and infantchild mortality" ;

2-Statement by the Minister of State Property, Surveys and Land tenure on "implementing co-ownership in Cameroon".

After the introductory statement by the Head of Government, the Minister of Public Health indicated that the National Multi-sector Programme for the Fight against Maternal and Infant-Child Mortality is part of operationalising the national strategy for human reproductive health. Set up on 11 November 2013 by a Decision of the Head of State, this Programme is consistent with the synergistic approach of all national stakeholders and international funding bodies, to significantly reduce mortality rate of women at child birth, new-born babies, and under 5 children. Field activities for the 2017-2020 period focused mainly on the Northern regions and the East, which are most hit.

Talking about outcomes following the execution of the Programme, the Minister of Public Health talked of constructing and equipping 10 mother and child pavilions and 4 maternity blocks, training 680 midwives, and capacity building for 3720 service providers of various human reproductive health professions. Furthermore, to ease access of vulnerable classes to health services, a pilot subsidy project of healthcare for pregnant women and new-born babies, called "Health Voucher", is being tested in the Northern Regions since 2015. To date, 70,000 women have benefited from this subsidy and the outcomes have been very encouraging.

Taking the floor after this statement, the Minister of State Property, Surveys and Land Tenure first gave an appraisal of co-ownership regime, before dwelling on constraints and prospects inherent in its implementation in Cameroon. It was revealed from her statement that, contrary to the old rules organising coownership of buildings, those on co-ownership of buildings is relatively recent and defined in Law No. 2010/022 of 21 December 2010.

The Minister noted that co-ownership of buildings should be popularized to intensify social housing construction programmes, as they contribute to increase the offer in office or business space at competitive prices, and offer many people the opportunity to become owners of buildings on the same space, by sharing charges. After presenting co-ownership instruments of buildings in Cameroon and the organization and functioning modalities, the Minister of State Property highlighted the material, technical and legal constraints that hamper its implementation.

These include

(i) producing and purchasing necessary equipment and documents required for the registration of the right of ownership and the issuance of title deeds;

(ii) training stakeholders and disseminating the law on co-ownership of buildings;

and (iii) developing an adequate pricing policy for related operations. By way of prospects, the Minister announced that operations to register rights for co-ownership of buildings accompanied by the issuance of related title deeds shall begin in January 2018.

After ensuing discussions, the Head of Government enjoined the Minister of Public Health to ensure the optimal implementation of the "Health voucher", envisage the creation of neonatal services in existing maternities, and ensure the availability of equipment and kits of essential medicines in public health facilities, especially in the rural areas.

The Prime Minister also instructed the Minister of State Property, Surveys and Land Tenure to intensify activities to disseminate co-ownership. He ended by instructing the Minister of Housing and Urban Development to finalize as soon as possible formalities prior to the issuance of title deeds to buyers of buildings under the regime of co-ownership. The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m. after examining other issues related to Government work."

Yaounde 26 October 2017,

Secretary General, Prime Minister's Office.

Cameroon

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