Focusing on Health Promotion, mental health promotion and Universal Health Coverage in Cameroon

1 January, 2019

Dear HIFA colleagues,

There is enough evidence to support the ideas that health and mental health promotion enable, individuals, families, and commumities to have the health and mental health information they ought to have to make informed health and healthcare decisions and choices. Thus as well, to be resilient. We need resilient communities! There is reason to believe that health behavior is importantly determined by the availability of and access to health information. The current state of health in the world reflects an amazing divide which is interestingly linked to a health information divide.

In Cameroon, health promotion initiatives are extremely inefficient as suggested by some studies. This implies that health information is thus not readily available since there is a link between the two. However, growing effort to enable Cameroon's healthcare system to be resilent albeit the health promotion problem became very visible in 2018, with the ministry of public health development of a process to make UHC to be a reality. In fact, patients and families still carry 60% of health costs. There are reasons to believe that this cost could be significantly reduced if more investment is made on health promotion, health literacy and health information access and availability. In fact, health information which includes healthcare information lay and professional is a prerequisite for UHC.

The creation of the Association of Cameroonian scientific Journalists and communicators for the promotion of health is timely and comes in to fill a gap with respect to health and mental health promotion in Cameroon. HIFA was part of this.

In prelude, to the International Day of Universal Health Coverage, celebrated on the 12th December 2018, the NGO Fis Cameroon (fiscameroon.org) organized an award wining competion for UHC champions in Cameroon.

During ten days 8000 people voted online for the Journal Echos Sante (73%), National Order Of Physicians of Cameroon (13%), MINSANTE (7.7%), honorable Rose Nguini Effa (4%)and the comedian Moustik le Charimatique (>1%) respectively.

The winner Journal Echo Sante, was handed the price by WHO in Cameroon. The winner has the heavy mission of fostering the Cameroonian government through activities so as to lead to the promulgation of a law on UHC at the National Assembly general assembly in March 2019.

The attainment of SDG 3 is deeply rooted in the access to and availability of health and mental information and the implementation of UHC. It matters to say that the HIFA participated in the second national cameroonian days of mental health organized by the ministry of public health from the 25th to the 26th September in Yaounde. This unique event is the only one dedicated to the national promotion of mental health in Cameroon.

There is therefore growing need for stakeholders in health and mental health to invest in the access to and availability of health and mental information. Because this is cost effective and suistainable. Supporting the HIFA means enabling world citizens and especially citizens of LMICs (e.g Cameroon) to have their health and mental health in their hands.

We will be working towards this again this year.

Kindest regards,

Didier Demassosso

HIFA Country Representative for Cameroon

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Didier Demassosso

School Counsellor|Mental Health Specialist|Blogger

HIFA Country Representative For Cameroon

HIFA Country representative of the year 2014

MHIN Africa Knowledge Exchange volunteer assistant

Member of the African Evidence Network (AEN)

Cameroon Human Right Fellow 2017

Vonlunteer at the International Association For Counselling

http://www.hifa.org

Tel :(237) 670-14-01-23/694-90-20-29

twitter:@DDemassosso

skype: Didier Demassosso

linkedin.com/in/didier-demassosso

HIFA profile: Didier Demassosso is a School Counsellor at the Ministry of Secondary Education in Cameroon. HIFA Country Representative For Cameroon/HIFA Country Represenative of the year 2014 and Mental Health Worker. Professional interests: Health Promotion, Mental Health Promotion, School mental health promotion, School health promotion, Mobile Health, Mental health, Public health, Public mental health, Trauma, Environment,the mind, ICT, Culture, Adolescent/Child health, Maternal health. He is a HIFA Country Representative.

http://www.hifa.org/people/country-representatives/map

http://www.hifa.org/support/members/didier

Email: didier.demassosso AT gmail.com