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Cameroon Health Ministry Seeks Private Sector Support for National Vaccination Strategy

Cameroon Health Ministry Seeks Private Sector Support for National Vaccination Strategy

Paru le jeudi, 28 mars 2024 15:49

Health Minister Manaouda Malachie has called on the private sector to invest in vaccination efforts to save lives. “I’m here to ask you to agree to give all Cameroonian children a chance to live and be healthy,” he stated at the opening of the private sector advocacy and commitment forum in support of the National Immunisation Strategy on Wednesday, March 27.

The short-term goal of this two-day forum is to engage the private sector, civil society, and partner government departments in supporting Cameroon’s National Immunisation Strategy over the next five years, according to the Ministry of Public Health’s communications unit. This initiative aims to involve the private sector in mobilizing financial resources to support the government’s immunization efforts.

The private sector is being asked to support the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) activities and help it achieve its objective of reducing morbidity and general mortality by 2030, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to which Cameroon has subscribed. Specifically, SDG 3, aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. Two of the targets of this goal are to eliminate avoidable deaths of newborns and children under 5 and to reduce the maternal mortality rate to below 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030.

Gradual decline in foreign funding

Malachie explained that Cameroon’s National Immunisation Strategy is being developed in a challenging economic context marked by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economies and the healthcare system, and a “gradual decline” in external funding allocated to vaccine purchases and the operational costs of immunization. “This situation has resulted in a considerable increase in domestic funding, and therefore government funding, over the last three years,” he said.

To engage the private sector, Malachie argues that the sustainability of the national immunization policy must be seen as “a national challenge” to be met, requiring the commitment of all stakeholders, especially the private sector. It is also necessary to establish a dialogue with businesses to ensure local and sustainable funding for immunization.

In Cameroon, the EPI offers vaccines against at least 15 vaccine-preventable diseases, including malaria, which was introduced into routine immunization at the beginning of 2024. Of these vaccines, 8 are co-financed by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “In addition, Gavi is providing support in terms of cash, around 30 million US dollars, to strengthen the health system,” said Marthe Sylvie Essengue Elouma, Regional Director for Central and West Africa of Gavi, in an interview with SBBC last December.

Patricia Ngo Ngouem

● Fact Cheking



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