Uncertainty looms the around the survival of more than half a million persons living with HIV in Cameroon

31 August, 2019

"In Cameroon, the government fails to pay up to the Global Fund supplying HIV patients with treatment, leaving scores of patients at risk." were part of the headlines in the news on France 24 television Issued on: 29/08/2019 - 22:26

According to the Global Fund that is in charge of supplying ANTI-RETROVIRAL drugs to HIV patients and other health emergency diseases like Tuberculosis in Cameroon, patients may as from January 2020 be obliged to purchase these vital drugs out-of-pocket.

The reason put forward by the Global Fund is that the State of Cameroon has repeatedly been failing to contribute her own quota for the purchase of the medications ­ 20% of the amount for the purchasee of these life-saving drugs that are being supplied monthly to Cameroonian citizens. The subvention amount that the State is expected to pay currently stands at 43 million Euros. The Global Fund acknowledges that it would struggle to continue the supplies until the end of 2019 but will discontinue its activities in Cameroon as from January 2020 unless the arrears of subvention are fully paid by the State of Cameroon.

We are facing a very disturbing situation in Cameroon right now in Cameroon from multiple fronts. First, the Boko Haram insurgency in the North, then the huge Refugee crisis in the East, then the Anglophone crisis in the West, and now the health challenges. In a country that started on a good footing towards promoting health for all, we were hoping that progress would have been made by now concerning health care coverage but the financial crisis is seriously hitting more and more sectors in Cameroon.

I feel bad for the Cameroonian people at this moment. I am a Cameroonian and honestly, I wonder how the government will come out of this situation, facing major challenges on multiple fronts. I cannot say with certainty but I think we have a general economic challenge in financing these programs. Much of our country's budget has been spent on military action and developing humanitarian issues, leaving us with little to handle other matters of serious concern. It is high time the government solves it's internal conflict issues and then sets the economy back on foot so that we can prevent loss of lives. It is painful. I am sad about the deplorable situation. Let's stand in solidarity with the people of my beloved Cameroon.

Emmanuel N. TANGUMONKEM

Chaplain; PhD Student, MHEPM, BMLSÂ

Community Health, Youth & Dev't Advocate

HIFA profile: Emmanuel Nembundah Tangumonkem is a Chaplain, Community Health and Youth and Development Adviser and the Executive President of the Academic and Career Development Initiative Cameroon (ACADI) in Cameroon. Professional interests: community engagement in the promotion of access to healthcare, primary health care research and policy advocacy. He is committed to mobilising and mentoring young people. Email address: pastoengold AT yahoo.com