10 January 2019

Cameroon: East Region - Malnutrition Gradually Coming Under Control

It is the result of sustained efforts over the years by government and partners.

Statistics from Lom and Djerem Division of the East Region suggest that the nutritional situation has continued to improve over the years. During a visit to three health facilities on December 28, 2019, Cameroon Tribune was to ascertain that the number of deaths and malnourished children aged below 59 months has kept declining.

With the support of the Ministry of Public Health, the United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF and other partners, Mandjou Integrated Health Centre has put in place a system whereby Community Health Volunteers, CHWs, sensitise nursing mothers and their families on the importance of good nutritional practices. Semboung Simon, the head of the health centre, said there were only 107 cases of severe acute malnutrition at end of November 2018 - out of the 1,500 children aged below 59 months received.

In 2017, there were about 160 cases of malnutrition, with four deaths. But in 2018, none of the 107 children consulted died, Semboung explained. In Guiwa Yangamo Integrated Health Centre, 7 new cases of malnutrition on average are received each month, with six to seven being successfully treated. Before now, there were 10 to 15 new cases of malnutrition each month, explained Djouldé, Head of Guiwa Yangamo Integrated Health Centre.

There were no deaths from malnutrition on admission in the health centre in 2017, but there were two at home - due to abandonment of treatment by parents. In 2018, there were no cases of death from malnutrition either in Guiwa Yangamo Integrated Health Centre or in surrounding villages, Djouldé said. "Up till 2016, there were high levels of malnutrition amongst Central African Republic refugees. But since 2017, the situation has begun to stabilise," explained Dr Koj Victor, Director of Betaré Oya District Hospital.

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