Health care in Cameroon got a boost last month, with some help from the United States. On September 29, Deputy Chief of Mission Matthew Smith presented to Minister for Public Health, His Excellency Andre Mama Fouda, with over $1 million in Information Technology, or IT, equipment for use in all ten regions and health districts in Cameroon.
The funds will be used to implement Demographic Health Information System software, also known as DHIS2, sponsored by the American people through U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Or PEPFAR, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC.
The ceremony was also attended by senior Ministry of Health officials, CDC Country Director Dr. Omotayo Bolu, medical staff, international organizations, and members of the media.
In his remarks, Mr. Smith said: “I am pleased to offer another concrete testament of the United States’ firm commitment to strengthen our health partnership with the Government and the people of Cameroon. We are proud that support for Cameroon’s health sector accounts for our largest bilateral partnership assistance, along with security.”
PEFAR contributions for this donation were approximately one million dollars. The CDC in Cameroon will provide a comprehensive package of computers, printers, ink, software, modems, and internet connections for one year with IT equipment maintenance to each of the 184 health districts in Cameroon. These computers have been allocated to all 10 regions and are now ready for distribution to districts and facilities.
Standardization of Cameroon’s health data collection will ensure access to quality data, which will prompt responsive action and ultimately produce better health outcomes for Cameroon.
Initially, DHIS 2 will be used to collect HIV data, subsequently malaria and TB, and ultimately include other important health programs and surveillance events. DHIS 2 will serve as a one stop shop for health information systems.
Highlighting the program’s impact, Mr. Smith observed that the 184 computer systems and equipment and the U.S. partnership with the Government of Cameroon will lead to enhanced data collection to be used for life-changing decision making.
“Healthy citizens offer greater contributions to their families, communities, and nation, said Deputy Chief of Mission Smith, “health, security, education, and promoting the efforts of Cameroonians are a key priority of the United States of America in this great nation.”