Between October 20th and 26th, the Head of AICS Khartoum office , Michele Morana, visited Cameroon.
This was an important opportunity to meet with the different stakeholders: the mission started with the visit to projects currently implemented in West Cameroon and with meetings with local counterpart as well as local and international CSOs.
The western part of the country is affected by a protracted crisis since 6 years: over 1 millions of refugees flee in neighboring countries such as Nigeria and almot 84.000 are IDPs (internally displaced people). This unexpected increase in population in the host communities has had a notable impact especially on education and health services, which are already precarious. The initiatives funded by AICS therefore aim to ensure adequate health services at local health facilities, as well as to promote access to drinking water and ensure appropriate sanitation services in bilingual schools and health centers, and the promotion of good health and hygiene practices within the displaced and host communities of the departments of Menoua, Noun and Bamboutos.
The commitment of AICS in responding to the crises affecting Cameroon is also characterized by its support for the National Health Emergency Response Plans which, according to UNOCHA, affect more than 1.6 million people in the country. The ceremony for the delivery of biomedical material for sequencing the SARS-CoV-2 Virus to the International Reference Center for Research on HIV / AIDS Prevention and Treatment "Chantal BIYA" ( CIRCB) of Yaoundé has been organized in the presence of the Italian Ambassador, Filippo Scammacca del Murgo, and the Cameroonian Minister of Public Health, Dr. Malachie Manaouda.
The historic and active cooperation between AICS and CIRCB - the national health reference center for genomic surveillance in all Africa - was highlighted - and considered as essential for the development of clinical studies and research in order to contribute to the development of appropriate national health policies to deal not only with the Covid-19 pandemic, but also with the different epidemics and communicable diseases spread in the country.
Other important meetings with different local and international actors were held during the mission. Of particular relevance, the meeting held by the Head of AICS Khartoum with the representatives of the Italian CSOs, active in Cameroon and Chad, which are engaged in the humanitarian response in both countries (Tchad and Cameroon). Meetings were also held with local ministerial representatives, including the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development of Cameroon
The visit was an opportunity to enhance and reaffirm the important active collaboration between Cameroon and Italy, as well as to identify useful elements in order to develop significant future synergies and to better orient the international cooperation actions promoted by Italy in the region, both in humanitarian aid and development sector.