Building local capacity and supporting coordination to strengthen health security.
With the support of TDDA, a major step was recently taken towards establishing a network of civil society organizations (CSOs) working in health in Cameroon. The network creates a formal structure for CSOs to coordinate their activities and engage with the government, strengthening civil society’s involvement in health security.
The elective and constitutive general assembly of the national executive board of the One Health Network of Civil Society Organizations of Cameroon (ROOHCAM) was held on December 3, 2021 in Yaoundé. TDDA gave a presentation at the meeting, setting out the prospects for working more closely with the new network.
The creation of ROOHCAM follows earlier work by the TDDA team in Cameroon. In July 2021, TDDA provided technical and financial support to a capacity-building workshop, delivered in partnership with the government. We carefully selected 16 CSOs to take part in the July session, where we provided participants with training on health security and health equity. To help address the urgent threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the session also covered risk communication and community engagement. The aim here was to equip the CSOs with skills and tools needed to reach out to their communities, raise awareness of COVID risks, counter misinformation and help overcome vaccine hesitancy.
Beyond preparing our participants to assist the national COVID vaccination roll out, the CSOs - now coming together in this new network - also have the capabilities to support the government’s wider health security policies and plans in the longer term. By building this additional local capacity we will ensure a lasting legacy from our work.
At the end of our July workshop, one of the major resolutions was that our CSOs form a network; this elective general assembly was the first step. The network’s charter and other strategic documents are expected to be finalised at a further meeting in February 2022. Going forward, TDDA will support CSOs to implement their action plans, with a particular emphasis on joint activities. In addition, TDDA Cameroon was made an honorary member of the network.
TDDA’s work in Cameroon is delivered by Centre Pasteur du Cameroun, in partnership with
the Ministry of Public Health and the Fondation Mérieux USA