Breakthrough in Cameroon follows latest TDDA visit
TDDA’s guide for integrating health security into all national policies and plans has recently been validated in Cameroon. All relevant One Health actors participated in a workshop in Mbankomo (24 June), hosted by TDDA’s Senior Political Advisor Dr Salif Samake. As a result, key sector representatives are now better equipped to incorporate the One Health approach (coordinating strategies between human, animal and environmental health ministries) and advocate for its implementation for the long term.
The meeting was part of a wider political engagement mission on which Dr Samake was accompanied by TDDA’s country coordinator and assistant/project coordinator as he visited a range of important stakeholders.
Through political engagement, we hope to ensure our work has a lasting impact. Progress in health security will only be secured if we establish high-level buy-in of others on the ground in our host countries who recognize the progress that has been achieved and have the expertise and resources to continue our work after our project closes at the end of November 2022.
Other meetings included:
National One Health Platform (NOHP) teams, with whom we discussed the restructuring and full operationalization of the platform, which performs a vital coordination role in strengthening health security strategies and actions.
World Health Organization’s Cameroon office, discussing the Universal Health and Preparedness Review (the new international peer-to-peer review mechanism designed to strengthen public health infrastructure, due to be piloted in Cameroon)
International Health Regulation (IHR) Focal Point meeting to discuss continuity so that progress towards this goal continues. The discussion also developed plans for a cross-border simulation exercise between Cameroon and Chad, to test and refine protocols for the safe handling of sick travellers.
Ministry of Environment’s One Health Focal Point and Technical Advisor to the Minister, with whom we are developing standard operating procedures for waste management in order to reduce the risks to human health.
Civil society: TDDA also held a working meeting with the President of the ROOHCAM network and five civil society organizations (CSOs), following our 2021 initiative to build the capacities of CSOs to support government health security initiatives. Cameroon CSO network formed, Dec 2021 (tacklingdeadlydiseasesinafrica.org)
This mission is an example of our increased focus on sustainability and a responsible exit in the fourth and final year of the project. We are engaging with senior government stakeholders, project partners and other health security actors in all five of our host countries, building on the trust, ministerial access and political capital our in-country teams have established to date.