Cameroon - Advocacy: Ministry of Public Health and Helen Keller International sensitize industry on neglected tropical diseases
The aim is to encourage agro-industries to review the components of certain staple foods with a view to limiting neglected tropical diseases and reducing malnutrition in Cameroon.
The advocacy workshop is being held from 3 to 4 June 2021 in Douala. For two days, executives from the Ministry of Health, the non-governmental organization Helen Keller International and agribusinesses are looking for solutions to fight against neglected tropical diseases in Cameroon. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are about 20 of these diseases in the world and they affect the poorest and most vulnerable populations. Cameroon is endemic to five of these diseases with preventive chemotherapy. These are onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, intestinal worms, lymphatic filariasis and trachoma which affect the ten regions of the country.
These diseases contribute to the malnutrition of children estimated at 29% in the country, hence the urgent need for a synergy of actions. "With the scarcity of funding from international donors, it is increasingly important and critical that national levers are raised to support the fight against these disabling diseases," said Dr. Ismael Teta, Cameroon Director of Helen Keller International.
Nutritional deficiencies have been identified as the main causes of these diseases. Hence the call for the country's agro-industries to intervene to fill these gaps. We want to bring the industrialists to accompany us, to support this part of our response by providing aid so that the work of these community health workers can be facilitated," he said. We want to bring the industry to support us, to support this part of our response by providing aid so that we can facilitate the work of these community health workers," said Dr. Georges Alain Etoundi Mballa, director of the fight against disease, epidemics and pandemics at the Ministry of Public Health.
For Jacquis Kemleu Djagbou, representative of agro-industries, "the issue of food is at the heart of the management of the development of the national economy. He invites agribusiness to participate in this fight of public health which is crucial for the development of Cameroon.