Start of program: 2016
COUNTRY KEY FIGURES
- 24.8 million inhabitants*
- 4.3 million people in need of emergency humanitarian aid
- 9.7% of children suffer from global acute malnutrition
ALIMA KEY FIGURES*
- 55,630 ambulatory pediatric consultations
- 9,353 prenatal consultations
- 8,099 children under age 5 hospitalized
- 82,227 mothers trained to screen for malnutrition using MUAC
Areas of intervention
The country’s humanitarian situation is aggravated by the security crisis in the Lake Chad Basin, in addition to general food insecurity, climate change, the recurrence of outbreaks and high malnutrition rates. 4.5% of children in the region suffer from global acute malnutrition and 1.1% from severe acute malnutrition (SMART Survey 2018).
Finally, the increase in the number of refugees and displaced persons in this area makes it more difficult to access resources, basic social services, as well as health care.
ALIMA’s Impact – Our fieldwork
Since May 2016, ALIMA has been operating in the Far North region of Cameroon. Our teams are currently present in three health districts: Mokolo, Makary and Mada. At Mokolo District Hospital, we provide free quality medical and nutritional care for children under 5 with complications. ALIMA also works in five other peripheral health centers for pediatric and nutritional outpatient care.
Support to districts and health centers
ALIMA supports health centers in the Far North region of Cameroon, especially those located in conflict zones. Our teams intervene in the Koza health district, near the Nigerian border, providing support to Koza hospital for pediatric and nutritional care, as well as for maternal health care.
ALIMA also supports 11 additional health centers, some of which are located in the areas most affected by insecurity, to ensure access to outpatient pediatric and nutritional health care, as well as sexual and reproductive health care.
Large-scale MUAC (Mid-Upper Arm Circumference) training for mothers
ALIMA has worked in the Makary health district since January 2017 and in the Mada health district since August 2018, to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates among refugees, displaced persons and host communities affected by the Lake Chad Basin crisis.
As a result, 12 peripheral health centers located in different health districts have benefited from the support of ALIMA. In these health centers, our teams provide access to pediatric, nutritional and maternal health care through pre and postnatal consultations, and deliveries are attended by skilled personnel.
In addition, ALIMA organizes large-scale MUAC trainings, to allow mothers to detect the first signs of acute malnutrition in their children. In 2018, more than 25,000 women benefited from this training, complemented by mass screening campaigns for severe acute malnutrition in children aged six to 59 months.
Raising awareness in local communities
Simultaneously, ALIMA is carrying out awareness-raising campaigns within local communities through health promoters, with a focus on reproductive health and nutrition, and more particularly infant and young child feeding.
Focus on 2019
In 2019, ALIMA carried out 63,729 pediatric consultations and 9,353 prenatal consultations in Cameroon. Similarly, 82,227 mothers were trained to use the MUAC bracelet, to detect malnutrition in their children.
Since the end of March 2020, ALIMA has been supporting the Cameroonian Ministry of Health in its response to the COVID-19 outbreak, particularly at the Yaoundé Central Hospital.
From the beginning, ALIMA has participated in the organization of the center and the patient triage, and has provided the hygiene products and equipment necessary for a good care. A team of 70 professionals (general practitioners and specialists, nurses, hygienists, an epidemiologist and a psychologist) trained in Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) was also deployed. These practices and procedures, adapted to the outbreak context, reduce the risk of transmission of the virus. ALIMA has therefore extended this training to the Ministry’s health personnel in the Central and Far North regions.
A total of 279 people have received this training. Some were also trained in the management of patients with COVID-19.
By mid-July 2020, when the center for the care of severe cases of COVID-19 at the Yaoundé Central Hospital closed, 268 patients had been admitted, 237 of whom were cured.
* Cover picture © Alexis Huguet / ALIMA