The Cameroonian government is hosting next May 26 to June 3 an international forum on Maternal and early childhood health (Simape). The forum is a way to better reflect on the alarming situation in the country.
Official data revealed that despite efforts from the government and partners, the country's maternal, newborn, and child health indicators remain worrying. The maternal mortality ratio in the country dropped by 40% over the past years, however, nearly 4,000 pregnant women still die each year while giving birth, according to the 2018 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS). About 22,000 newborns die each year in the country (28 deaths per 1,000 live births). The infant mortality rate fell from 62 deaths in 2011 to 48 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2018.
Meanwhile, the rate of infant and child mortality dropped from 122 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2011 to 80 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2018 (MICS 2011 and DHS 2018). Dimitri Venant François Mbele, who is coordinating the upcoming forum, said Cameroon has always lacked funding for sustainable actions on the ground. He hopes the forum would be a definite game-changer.