Friday, December 25, 2015

Cameroon Link wishes you a Happy New Year 2016

We would like to wish you a Happy New Year from all of our team in Cameroon. It is because of your support that we reach millions of followers with the information they need to improve on their health and wellbeing, keep their family happy and prosperous. The year 2015 we worked with several farmers, women, mothers and community radio broadcasters like hopeful partners in to share information on agricultural improvements, markets, nutrition and health. We believe that the exchange of information will remain lasting and improve on in the lives of many families. We sincerely thank you for making many change happen for all of us. We use this opportunity to requesr you to visit our new baby at and suggest new ways of collaboration to make the future brigther. Visit our Facebook page this week for more holiday messages from the field, and to learn more about the farmers and broadcasters you have supported this year. Send your own new year greetings through the space for comments on our web site. Share tour gifts of knowledge and voices, along with a special message to special fathers, mothers and youths. Once again, Happy and Prosperous New Year 2016!

World Breastfeeding Week 2016

Theme: ‘Breastfeeding - A key to Sustainable Development’
WABA has announced the theme for WBW 2016 World Breastfeeding Week is: ‘Breastfeeding: A key to Sustainable Development’ The WBW 2016 theme focuses on breastfeeding in relation to sustainability, and most importantly to the Sustainable Development Goals. WABA Co-Executive Director, Dr. Amal Omer-Salim, was appointed Key Writer for the WBW 2016 Calendar Announcement, Action Folder etc, working with small team of WABA Steering Committee members, and Core Partner representatives. Dr. Omer-Salim explains that “In very simple terms, sustainable development means development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Breastfeeding is a key to sustainable development. This is particularly through the links between breastfeeding and nutrition and food security; health, development and survival; achieving full educational potential and economic productivity and the fact that breastfeeding is an environmentally sustainable method of feeding compared to the alternatives. In 2016 a new set of universal global development goals will come into being. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) build on the ‘unfinished business’ of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and will guide development agendas for the next 15 years. There are 17 goals that apply to all countries alike, covering broad issues such as climate change and poverty reduction, but also more specific issues including 1) ending hunger and improving both under and over nutrition; 2) ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being; 3) ensuring equitable education, and 4) ensuring sustainable agricultural production and consumption. However, breastfeeding is not explicitly mentioned in any of the goals. Therefore the breastfeeding movement needs to position breastfeeding in as many ways as possible. This will help to ensure that breastfeeding is not forgotten in the new era of the SDGs”. WBW 2016 Objectives are to: 1. To inform people about the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how they relate to breastfeeding and Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF). 2. To firmly anchor breastfeeding as a key component of sustainable development. 3. To galvanise a variety of actions at all levels on breastfeeding and IYCF in the new era of the (SDGs). 4. To engage and collaborate with a wider range of actors around the promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding. The Calendar Announcement is being developed and should be ready for distribution soon. WABA looks forward to actively collaborating with you all for WBW 2016. Wishing you Season’s Greetings, and a very Happy New Year! Jennifer Mourin, Global Coordinator, WABA World Breastfeeding Week (WBW)

Monday, June 2, 2014

Commonwealth Profiles WABA MWG Coordinator

CSC Evaluation and Monitoring Programme James Achanyi Fontem is currently the Executive Director of Cameroon Link, an NGO based in Douala that promotes health development and agricultural initiatives in rural areas through community radio stations in Cameroon. He undertook a Professional Fellowship with the Sickle Cell Society, UK in 2008. In addition to his work with Cameroon Link, James chairs a number of different networks including the Federation of Cameroon Breastfeeding Promotion Associations (FECABPA), the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) Men’s Initiative and Youth Action for Environmental Protection. He is also the national coordinator for the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN Cameroon). Within a collaboration partnership arrived at in September 2013, FECABPA picked up the role of Cameroon’s National Breastfeeding Committee. Since 2011, he has acted as the Health District Coordinator for Scaling Up Malaria Control for Impact(SUFI) in Bonassama, Littoral Region of Cameroon, all of which are cumulative functions within his role at Cameroon Link.
James’ Work & Activity Before undertaking the Fellowship, James had a number of different jobs. One of such role is with Farm Radio International (FRI), a Canadian NGO, which uses community radio stations as a means to capacitate small scale farmers to enhance quality of crop production and improving livelihoods, for which James is the main Cameroonian contact. Through FRI, James established a partnership between the Commonwealth of Learning (CoL) and Cameroon Link, where he is currently the Healthy Community CLP Liaison in Cameroon. The CoL is an intergovernmental organisation that aims to encourage the development and sharing of knowledge through open learning/distance education, resources, and technologies. CoL is based in Vancouver, Canada and in conjunction with the agency Cameroon Link organises “story design programming” workshops on mother and child healthcare through community radio stations in southwest, Littoral and West regions of Cameroon. James notes, “I organise capacity building training for media professionals working for the development of community radio stations in Cameroon. I coordinate research work on infant and young child feeding with some 30 health district civil society organisations. I supervise, monitor and evaluates the work at community radio stations in the west, littoral and southwest regions of Cameroon involved in the design of community learning programmes on mother and child healthcare. 12 community radio stations are involved in activity and 110 community-based organisations are involved in the promotion of malaria prevention in the Health District of Bonassama.” Employer Support & Promotion At the time of James’ Commonwealth award, he was a programmes manager with Cameroon Link. James stated that his employer was very supportive of undertaking the Commonwealth Fellowship as it was seen as a valuable opportunity to learn new skills which would improve performance in the workplace and could subsequently be shared with other colleagues. Upon returning from the Fellowship, James received a promotion to which he credits the Commonwealth award. “When I returned to my job, my position started to change with greater responsibility as my course in the UK focused on programme management.” James revealed that his salary increased by more than 25% upon his return home from the Fellowship. He attributed this to his enhanced performance in the workplace which he felt the Commonwealth award largely contributed to. James’ new position led to the creation of gender equity training modules promoting primary education for young girls, employment of youth in the non-agricultural sector, and the promotion of reproductive and sexual health activities in Cameroon Skills & Knowledge Whilst undertaking the Fellowship in the UK, James was able to develop many skills in information and communications technology including building websites and creating blogs, which he was able to use in his work upon returning home. James stated, “I have been able to develop internet blogs, YouTube and online radio channels for sharing information on our work, and have been able to train Cameroonians through open distance learning initiatives.” James’ Fellowship with Sickle Cell Society UK was structured in a way that he was able to attend various university lectures and modules on managerial skills as well as attend site visits to see how managing skills are used within community outreach. “The programme management skills I learned while in the UK taught me how to design specific programmes, how to execute the said programmes, and how to monitor and evaluate them.” At the end of his course, James developed a project on the prevention of sickle cell anaemia which is currently being used by the Cameroonian government. As a result of James’ project, the government has acknowledged sickle cell disease as a public health problem and appointed a national coordinator of the programme. Furthermore, the government has allocated health workers the appropriate resources to carry out activities within rural communities. Other key skills that James was able to learn from his Fellowship in the UK were fundraising and networking strategy. James asserted, “We were given the opportunity to visit [whilst in the UK] other associations and other networks to see how they operate and how they fundraise. Because of this, we are now able to raise funds for our projects today as we learned the necessary computing skills, and learnt about meeting funding needs and requirements.” In regard to knowledge transfer, James noted that he was able to train between 41-50 persons in technical, analytical and managerial skills as well as share general information as a direct result of undertaking the Commonwealth Fellowship.
Development Impact Through his position as the Commonwealth of Learning Healthy Community and Cameroon Link Partnership Liaison, James was able to lead community radio action to produce high quality radio programmes on agricultural issues as well as maternal and child health in English and local languages for greater outreach to rural communities. One such activity involved setting up a community radio station in a particularly hard-to-reach rural village which is handicapped due to its remote location. The radio station therefore was an attempt to allow villagers access to information regarding agriculture and health that would have otherwise only been available in urban areas. There was also an important gender element at play as James stated that 65% of the community involved in farming are women, and this project therefore was closely linked to women’s empowerment. “The CSC Fellowship training led to my ability to impact local Cameroonian communities in the health sector through HIV/AIDS prevention, maternal & child health and reproductive and sexual health.” Catalytic effects of James’ work can be seen through the work he has done with community-based organisations in which James provided training on how to apply for grants and funding. James asserted that many applications for which he provided support have received funding and now have enough money for their own activities which involves the creation of new jobs. Socioeconomic impact James has worked on a number of development initiatives related to women and children’s health rights including prevention of mother-to-child HIV/AIDS transmission. Through his projects he has been able to change behaviours in regard to better health outcomes. One project in particular is the development of mobile phone applications as a means of improving health outcomes for women. This particular project encourages women to use mobile phones through which they receive reminders regarding health consultation dates and immunisation appointments for themselves and their children. James noted that there has been a sharp increase in women accessing healthcare and hospital services since the inception of the project and has subsequently had an impact on child health. James has also been involved in family planning education. Through his work, he has endeavoured to promote childbirth spacing as a means of reducing child mortality rates and has also contributed to reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies. Government policy When James began his work in promoting breastfeeding, the Cameroonian government did not have any policy regarding the marketing of breastfeeding substitutes. Due to the lack of marketing regulations, the use of artificial milk was very common. Through research and participation in international conferences, James was able to lobby the government to implement a national code on the marketing of break milk substitutes demanding that corporations adhere to certain guidelines and regulations in December 2005. Although there are currently no punitive measures for breaking these statues, James continues to advocate for corporations to be held legally accountable for any violations and abuse of child rights. James’ Commonwealth Award James asserted that the Commonwealth award made a significant contribution to his professional development in part because of the perceived prestige and status of undertaking the Fellowship. In addition to the skills and knowledge he gained, James felt that coming to the UK, participating in forums and establishing international linksplayed an important role in his career development, which would have been very difficult to accomplish without the award. He stated, “If I hadn’t received the Commonwealth award, I would have not been able to learn all the skills surrounding information technology and programme management that I gained during the Fellowship.” Through the Fellowship, James designed a project based on the skills that he learnt whilst on award. Through this, James stated that he was able to help 12 Cameroonian organisations set up offices, develop organisational strategies and programme execution. He noted, “What I learned in the UK is still being replicated today through all the training that I’ve conducted. This training has been recycled in an innovative way that has led to the creation of new organisations and jobs.” Through connections established whilst on award, James has been able to secure funding for the Open Distance Learning programme with community radio stations for research on African rural radio stations. James notes that there are approximately 75 community radio stations that are implementing programmes which he has advised on. He has also recently secured funding from UNICEF in a cooperation agreement regarding infant and young child feeding during the World Breastfeeding Week 2013. IBFAN Africa supported community radio stations to design programmes on breastfeeding during the week. Upon his return home, James has been able to share his experience with the Commonwealth Fellowship with others and has even helped other colleagues apply to the scheme. James asserted that his personal and professional expectations were met whilst on award and that he thought the Fellowship was successful in both ways. James affirmed, “From undertaking the Fellowship, people gain knowledge, they meet people, share and gain knowledge, ideas, create contacts, meet funders and discover international agencies, which all help support activities they want to carry back in Africa.” James stated that he felt Professional Fellowships were advantageous in that they provide professionals with practical skills which are transferable and can be readily shared with others. In this way, Professional Fellowships are a scheme in which impact can be seen and felt almost people immediately. James said, “Professional Fellowships are practical, not theoretical. Once this information is passed on, it can be shared in a way that helps others to develop their professional skills faster.” James concluded by stating that the Commonwealth Fellowship introduced him to new and innovative ways of thinking and managing people and projects. He affirmed, “The CSC Fellowship opened new avenues for creativity and innovation of my managerial skills.” This article has been shared courtesy of: Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK Woburn House 20-24 Tavistock Square London WC1H 9HF UK Email:

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Men’s Involvement In Breastfeeding

By Dr. Pankaj Desai I remember my father nearly two decades ago when my niece was born telling all of us young ones about the advantages of breastfeeding and so many allied matters. He narrated it to us so lucidly interlacing it with anecdotes that it proved to be a very inspirational and motivating interaction for the entire family. Many men wrongly think that breastfeeding is strictly restricted to women and babies. They see their role as that of an inactive observer who has no control on the process. But men actually have tremendous potential to either facilitate or undermine the success of breastfeeding. Understanding the importance of their role is the first step in equipping fathers to help their breastfeeding wives/partners. Setting the Family Tone The first thing the man can do is to generate a helpful family environment toward breastfeeding. If he views breastfeeding as making a positive difference in the health and well-being of his baby and as a main concern for his wife and child, this attitude will set the tone for achieving success. A father who views a baby's continual presence as intrusive will weaken breastfeeding. The father who assumes that his baby will accompany the couple to all social interactions has given breastfeeding his strong approval. But there's a big difference between a man who agrees to let his wife breastfeed and one who consciously creates an atmosphere of success. Giving Support and Encouragement Breastfeeding can be psychologically challenging, bodily very tiring, and uncomfortable at times. Almost all new mothers experience doubts about their capability to care for a dependent newborn. Breastfeeding mothers harbor extra fears about the sufficiency of their milk supply or the accuracy of their breastfeeding method, or their skill to surmount lactation troubles. Fathers can play a key role in supporting their breastfeeding wife's self-assurance by praising their efforts and offering words of encouragement. Providing Practical Help A father can help in so many ways that it's hard to imagine why many men feel left out when their wives breastfeed. A father can go to the baby when he or she awakens and bring the hungry infant to his wife. After the first breast, he can burp the baby and help arouse the infant for the second side. When the feeding is complete, the father can change the infant and put him or her down to sleep. Building a Relationship with the Baby Although the mutual interaction between a breastfeeding baby and her mother is one of the strongest bonds in nature, this doesn't lessen the significance of a baby's early relationship with her father. Instead of feeling left out of the nursing bond, fathers can cultivate their own exclusive bond with their baby. Much has been written recently about the problem of "father hunger" among American children. As a result of divorce, single parenthood, and emotionally distant fathers, innumerable children grow up with little or no contact with their fathers. Today, nearly 40 percent of America's children do not live with their father. Not only has fatherless become the single most important determinant of child poverty, fatherless children are at increased risk for violent behavior, unlawful doings, drug misuse, school failure, joining a gang, and other social problems. Children ought to have the right to have a healthy, loving relationship with two parents, and fathers deserve to know the truth about their crucial role. As a father, the man can begin by connecting with his child through touch, one of the most strongly developed senses at birth. He can hold, carry, rock, caress, massage, and stroke his baby and let her fall asleep. When the baby is in a quiet alert state, it is most receptive to engaging visually. It prefers to look at the human face over any other visual stimulus. Within a few months, babies already perceive their fathers as principal sources of play and motor movement, different-but no less important than-mothers. If the wife is more skillful at comforting, bathing and entertaining the baby, it isn’t necessary for the man to let her be the chief infant custodian. Instead, the man can explain that he wants to become proficient at caring for and nurturing the baby. Mothers need not come to their husband’s rescue as soon as the baby starts to cry. Instead they can allow the husband opportunities to soothe or entertain the baby or sing her to sleep. One prudent mother decided not to correct her husband when he put the newborn's disposable diaper on rearward the first time. An affectionate father's genuine attempt to contribute in infant care was more important than whether the clothing breaks are in proper position. Editor's Note: Many thanks to Marianne R. Neifert whose article in Dr. Mom's Guide to Breastfeeding was of great help in preparing this posting.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Cameroon Link Sends Petition to Formula Producers and Distributors

Companies should stop self-serving marketing activities and make formula cheaper. 1. We, at Cameroon Link, believe that mothers and the wider public have the right to independent information on pregnancy and baby care. This is available through the health care system and mother support groups.
2. We call for baby milk companies to stop targeting pregnant women and parents with so-called 'educational initiatives' and 'mother and baby clubs'. These are strategies for promoting brand names and gathering contact details and are ultimately paid for by those who use formula. 3. We call on companies to make permanent (not promotional) reductions to the price of formula. Note: The International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent, relevant Resolutions of the World Health Assembly set out how companies can and cannot market formula. Reasons for the petition • All parents want the best for their babies. Misleading information from baby milk companies, beautifully packaged and marketed, increases companies' profits but has long term health and emotional consequences for mothers and babies. Families deserve good evidence-based information from well informed health professionals and voluntary mother support groups! • health information & research must be free of commercial interest & influence. • Infant feeding choice and parenting decisions should be free from the influence of companies aiming to make a profit from those decisions. Parents have the right to receive evidence-based, non-biased Information, including from health professionals, to enable them to make a fully informed choice. I would like to see the law strengthened to follow the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. • Mothers need to be supported rather than bombarded with misleading information so they can decide what is right for them and their baby. The formula companies must be stopped from cashing in mothers when they are most vulnerable. • Because industry never does better than Nature • Advertising has the goal to sell products and to gain money for big companys. So a lot of money is invested in this adds. Mothermilk and breastfeeding brings profits to mothers, babys, familys and communities. But in the fact that there is no company earning money with mothermilk there is too little money to protect breastfeeding and help mothers to reach their goals keeping the children healthy. Correct information without commercial influence is a human right. • Marketing under the guise of "education" is unethical and sneaky. Companies make enough profits without hyping or promoting formula. The bottom line cannot be about money but choice. This has been brought to you by Cameroon Link, Your Human Assistance Programme serving Africa and the World with the support of Commonwealth of Learning.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Par Cameroon Link Email:
Le Ministre de la Sante Publique du Cameroun, Son Excellence, André Mama Fouda, a fixé la célébration de la Semaine Mondiale de l’Allaitement Maternel du 17 au 23 Aout 2012. Le cérémonie officielle national pour le lancement sera organisé à l’Hôpital du District de Biyem Assi le 17 Aout. Ceci ressort de la réunion préparatoire de l’évènement qui a eu lieu a la direction pour la promotion de la sante a Mballa II le 24 juillet 2012. Une première réunion s’est tenue le mardi, 10 Juillet 2012 sous la présidence du sous-directeur de I' Alimentation et de la Nutrition, Okala Georges. Six points étaient inscrits à l'ordre du jour : le mot introductif de M. Okala Georges, le feedback de la SMAM 2011, la présentation du thème de la SMAM 2012, la proposition des activités de la SMAM et divers.
Dans le mot de bienvenu, le président de séance a adressé ses remerciements à tous ceux qui ont fait le déplacement et par la suite présenté I' ordre du jour en précisant les objectifs de la SMAM 2012. Les participant ont eu le feedback de la SMAM 2011 et plusieurs points ont été discutés savoir : •L’absence de cérémonie officielle présidée par le Ministre de la Sante Publique ; •Le retard dans les étapes de la préparation et dans la livraison du matériel; •L’absence de moyens prévus pour acheminer le matériel dans les régions ; •La quantité de matériel commande était insuffisante, ce qui a entrainé le non-respect de nombreuses sollicitations; ajoute à ce matériel, la plupart s’attendait aux savons. Le représentant de l'association Cameroon Link, James Achanyi-Fontem, a apprécié la justesse de rapport qui ressort l'ensemble des difficultés rencontrées lors de la célébration de la SMAM 2011. Les associations ont souligné le vœu de recevoir des correspondances de remerciements venant de la part de Ministère de la Sante Publique après le déroulement de la SMAM chaque année. Thème de la SMAM 2012 «Comprendre le passé pour mieux planifier l'avenir». Le Sous-Directeur de l’Allaitement et Nutrition a déroulé l'historique de la SMAM avec les 10 ans de stratégies OMS/UNICEF sur I' Alimentation du Nourrisson et du Jeune Enfant ainsi que les 20 ans de célébration de la SMAM. Pour mener à bien cette année, le représentant de l'association Cameroon Link a appuyé en disant qu'il faudrait: •évaluer le parcours; qu’est ce qui a été fait depuis 20 ans, évaluer la politique d’alimentation du nourrisson et du jeune enfant, évaluer le décret de décembre 2005 en sortant la note qui la mettra en application; •analyser les forces, faiblesses, opportunités et menaces puis planifier l’avenir en comblant les gaps.
La SDAN sortira la liste exhaustive des associations pour une évaluation financière et une répartition des documents, des tee-shirts et autres matériels à produire. Puis la SDAN élaborera le budget pour soumettre au partenaire. Proposition des activités de la SMAM 2012 Une discussion a été faite sur le jour et le lieu de lancement des activités cette année. Ainsi les vendredi 17 Aout et l'Hôpital de district de Biyem-Assi ont été respectivement retenus. La SDAN saisira le médecin chef du DS pour l'en informer et contactera par la suite la présidente de l’Association AHEAD pour line grande mobilisation des femmes. Une possibilité de financement des activités avec la Division de la Coopération (DCOOP) a été abordée. Le SDAN a demandé d'identifier les faiblesses et de tirer les leçons des erreurs du passe pour améliorer et planifier I' avenir. II a souligné que beaucoup d'avances ont été déjà fait à savoir la politique nationale d'alimentation infantile et décret de 2005 portant règlementation de la commercialisation des substituts du lait maternel. II a donné les orientations d' activités à savoir la promotion de l'initiative Amie des Bébés et la mise en application du Décret N° 2005 / 5168 / PM du 01 Décembre 2005 portant réglementation de la commercialisation des substituts du lait maternel. II a proposé: •le décollage des affiches places par le délègues des sociétés laitière dans les centres de santé, •organisation des causeries éducatives et le counseling dans les communautés. •le briefing des associations, l’organisation d’une exposition au lieu du lancement a Biyem Assi, •la multiplication des CD sur le code de 2005 et la multiplication des documents de formation, •conception des affiches sur I' allaitement maternel. Les activités retenues sont le briefing des associations, les causeries éducatives et le counseling Son Excellence, Monsieur Le Ministre de la Sante Publique, Andre Mama Fouda lance la SMAM le 17 aout, 2012. La prochaine réunion des associations de nutrition est fixée pour le 16 Aout 2012 a Yaoundé.
LA FICHE TECHNIQUE DE LA SMAM 2012 I. Contexte et justification Depuis 1991, la Communauté internationale célèbre du 1 er au 07 Aout de chaque année, la Semaine Mondiale de l’Allaitement Maternel. Cette manifestation est l’occasion pour le Ministère de la Sante Publique et ses partenaires de sensibiliser l'opinion nationale sur l'importance de l'allaitement maternel pour la survie de I' enfant et la santé de la mère. En effet, il y a 20 ans que l’Alliance Mondiale pour I' Allaitement Maternel (World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action) lançait sa première Semaine Mondiale de l’Allaitement Maternel sur le thème de l'Initiative Hôpital Ami des Bébés(BFHI). En célébrant cet anniversaire, c'est le moment propice pour faire un bilan de ce qui s' est passé durant ces années écoulées, célébrer les succès et les réalisations accomplies et voir ce qui a moins réussi pour mieux planifier l' avenir, dans le but de soutenir toutes les femmes dans leur capacité a nourrir leurs nourrissons et jeunes enfants et à en prendre soin de façon optimale. Le thème retenu pour l'année 2012 est alors: «Comprendre le passé, Planifier l‘Avenir». Au Cameroun, les enquêtes EDS menées de 1991 à 2011 ont montré une nette progression du taux d'allaitement maternel exclusif jusqu' à six mois entre 1991 et 2004. Cela s'explique par la mise en œuvre de la Politique Nationale de l' Allaitement Maternel validée en 1994 par le Ministère de la Sante Publique et la sensibilisation des communautés et du personnel de santé lors des Semaines Mondiales d' Allaitement Maternel (SMAM). Evolution du taux de l'Allaitement Maternel Exclusive au Cameroun 1991%= 7%, 1998 = 12%, 2004 = 24%, 2006 = 21%, 2011 = 20% On constate une régression depuis 2006 jusqu'à 2011. Les conséquences en sont nombreuses aussi bien pour les enfants, les familles que la société qui paie un lourd tribut en terme de décès et de maladies infanto juvéniles (122% de décès infanto juvéniles selon I'EDS-MICS IV). Au Cameroun, un décès sur trois est imputable aux mauvaises pratiques de I' allaitement maternel. La promotion et I' encouragement de I' allaitement maternel nécessite des interventions à base communautaire avec I ‘implication de la communauté. Au Cameroun, il existe des associations locales et ONG internationales qui appuient le système de sante dans la promotion de I' allaitement maternel. Dans le cadre de la célébration de la SMAM 2012, un accent particulier sera mis sur les activités promotionnelles de l’allaitement maternel au niveau des communautés à travers tout le pays. Les activités de la SMAM au Cameroun commencent effectivement le 17 au 23 Aout 2012 sur toute l'étendue du territoire avec l'implication des ONG et associations locales au sein des communautés et des formations sanitaires. II. Objectif Général Promotion de l'allaitement maternel à travers les activités a base communautaires. III. Objectifs spécifiques 1. Sensibiliser et conscientiser les communautés, les mères et les femmes en âge de procréer sur I' allaitement maternel et I' alimentation du jeune enfant; 2. Dynamiser les activités au sein de la communauté afin de soutenir toutes les femmes dans leur pratique d'allaitement au sein ; 3. Informer la communauté que la protection, la promotion et le soutien a I' allaitement maternel est un droit de la mère, un droit de I' enfant, et un droit humain; 4. Renforcer le plaidoyer auprès des communautés pour que des actions fortes en faveur de I' allaitement maternel et de I' alimentation du jeune enfant soient prises. 5. Impliquer les relais communautaires et les membres des OBC dans la mise en œuvre des activités de lors de la semaine mondiale de I' allaitement maternel. IV. Résultats attendus 6. Les communautés, les mères et les femmes en âge de procréer sont sensibilisées et conscientisées sur I' allaitement maternel et I' alimentation du jeune enfant; 7. Les activités au sein des communautés en faveur du soutien aux femmes dans leur projet d’allaitement sont dynamisées ; 8. La communauté est informée de ce que la protection, la promotion et le soutien a I' allaitement maternel constitue un droit pour I' enfant, la mère et surtout un droit humain ; 9. Le plaidoyer pour que des actions fortes soient prises en faveur de I' allaitement maternel est renforcé. V. Méthodologie • Animations des groupes de mères et des communautés sur I' allaitement maternel (causeries éducatives); •Diffusion du documentaire sur I' allaitement maternel; •Sensibilisation des medias et des leaders d'opinion; •Animations d'émissions radio et TV en langues nationales et locales; •Débats, Discussions/Echanges. VI. Date de la célébration, le 17 au 23 Aout 2012. VII. Suivi et Evaluation: SDAN VIII. Source de Financement: UNICEF
I –INTRODUCTION Du 1er au 7 Aout dernier, le Cameroun .s'est joint a la communauté internationale pour célébrer la 20ieme édition de la Semaine Mondiale de l’Allaitement Maternel (S.M.A.M.). Le thème choisi a l'occasion de cette célébration anniversaire était: «Parlez-moi de l'Allaitement Maternel I). Le choix de ce thème n'a pas été fait au hasard mais a plutôt été guide par le souci de suivre les évolutions technologiques , de notre époque pour véhiculer les message~ essentiels sur l' allaitement maternel. II s’agissait ici de s’arrimer a I' opportunité qu' offre la multitude de moyens technologiques a notre portée pour transmettre les messages clés de l' allaitement maternel afin de toucher une plus large partie de la population, surtout les jeunes qui se sentent souvent exclus du débat. Plus concrètement, il était question d'utiliser tous les moyens de con1munication actuels, surtout ceux qui sont les plus utilisés par les jeunes pour parler de l’allaitement maternel. A cet effet, afin de rehausser d'un éclat particulier cette célébration -anniversaire, un certain nombre d’activités ont été menées avant, pendant et après la semaine mondiale de l'allaitement maternel sur l'ensemble du territoire national. II -CONTEXTE ET JUSTIFICATION Depuis les années 90, des efforts déplorés par les différents intervenants en matière d'allaitement ont permis d'accroitre le taux d'allaitement maternel exclusif a 6 mois de moins de 1% en 1991 a 21% en 2004 et celui de l'initiation a l'allaitement dans l'heure qui suit la naissance de 11,5% en 1991 a 20% en 2006. Cependant, au Cameroun, près de 29%' des décès, des enfants de moins d'un an sont attribuable a la mauvaise pratique de l'allaitement maternel. Cette manifestation est l’occasion pour la Ministère de Ia Sante Publique et ses Partenaires de sensibiliser l’opinion publique nationale sur les enjeux de I’ allaitement maternel. En effet, l'objectif que notre pays s'est fixe d'ici 2015 est de passer d'un taux d'allaitement maternel exclusif de 0 a 6 mois de 21%, qui est la couverture de base de qualité, a 65% la cible à atteindre. Pour ce faite, une grande partie des activités prévues seront consacrées a la sensibilisation, aux formations et a I’ information a I ‘endroit des jeunes, des parents en général, et des responsables d'enfants en particulier, notamment les mères. III -DEROULEMENT DE LA SMAM 2011 : Activités prévues .Dans le cadre de la célébration de cette importante manifestation, des activités ont été prévues avant, pendant et après la semaine de I' allaitement maternel. 1. Avant 1a SMAM Dans le cadre de la célébration de la SMAM 2011 au Cameroun, deux réunions préparatoires ont eu lieu dans les locaux de la Sous Direction Alimentation et Nutrition (SDAN). La 1 ère réunion préparatoire s'est tenue le 1er Juillet 2011, sous la présidence effective du Sous Directeur de l’Alimentation et Nutrition, Okala Georges. Au cours de cet échange, il s'est agit essentiellement de s' accorder sur les activités à mener au cours de cette SMAM. Les associations présentes ont tour à tour proposé un certain nombre d'activités à réaliser en accord avec le thème de l'édition 2011. Au terme de cette rencontre, les participants a cet échange se sont engagés à produire chacun un plan d’action pour la SMAM 2011, ils ont également sollicité un soutien financier et surtout matériel à l'endroit du MINSANTE et de ses partenaires. Les participants se sont séparés avec promesse de se retrouver dans trois semaines pour la réception du matériel pour la célébration effective de la SMAM. Pour cette édition-anniversaire, les activités suivantes ont été retenues : •Des briefings avec le personnel de la sante; •Des rencontres sportives ; •Des causeries éducatives ; •Des activités ludiques instructives avec des jeunes: des pièces de théâtres, des concerts, des jeux radiophoniques, etc. ; Afin de rehausser d'un éclat particulier cette célébration, le soutien de certains partenaires a été sollicité a l' endroit : •Des entreprises de téléphonie mobile a l'effet d'envoyer des messages clés sur l’allaitement maternel a leurs abonnes ; •De l'UNICEF pour la production du matériel de communication: tee- shirts, dépliants, brochures, bics, cahiers, banderoles. •Des autorités administratives, religieuses et traditionnelles susceptibles d'avoir un impact positif sur la décision d'allaiter plus tôt et plus longtemps. La seconde réunion préparatoire de la SMAM 2011 a eu lieu le 22 juillet 2011 dans l:s locaux de SDAN. Au cours de cette seconde rencontre, il s'est agit pour chaque groupe et association de présenter son plan d'action pour la SMAM 2011 et de faire un bilan sur les sollicitations menées à l’ endroit des partenaires. De cette concertation, il résultera que la célébration de la SMAM 2011 bénéficiera de l'appui de l'UNICEF dans la production du matériel de communication: tee-shirts, banderoles, dépliants, brochures, cahiers, et bics. Les associations ont été appelées ensuite chacune à s'étendre sur son plan d'action afin de l'expliquer, voire de le défendre afin de bénéficier du meilleur soutien. A cet effet, plusieurs ont sollicités la présence de la SDAN au cours de leurs activités ou ont tout simplement sollicités des formations pour le membre lie leurs associations. Les participants à cette rencontre se sont séparés avec promesse de se retrouver le 1 er Aout pour la distribution du matériel aux associations. Pendant la phase préparatoire, une rencontre a également eu lieu avec l'équipe UNICEF en vue de transmettre les propositions de maquettes de tee-shirt, de banderoles, de bics, de dépliants et de cahiers. Quoique cette célébration n’ait pas eu de cérémonie officielle, la DPS a déploré les moyens pour que les manifestations soient couvertes par les medias. C’est ainsi que plusieurs journalistes de l’Association des Medias pour la Promotion de la Sante (AMPSA) ont suivi de bout en bout les activités de la SDAN durant la SMAM. De plus, l'équipe de production de l'émission de santé télévisée « Health Watch), a également accompagnée l' équipe de la DPS a l'h6pital gynécos-obstétrique ou elle a assiste au briefing du personnel de sante qui a eu lieu, et a pu filmer quelques éléments pour son émission diffusée sur les ondes de la télévision nationale Après la SMAM Compte tenu de ce que la réception du matériel pour la SMAM s’est poursuivie après la 1ère semaine du mois d’Aout. Cette troisième phase a été consacrée à l'acheminement desdits matériels aux Délégations Régionales du Centre et de l'Est, ainsi qu'aux associations. DIFFICULTES RENCONTREES Quelques difficultés ont émaillé le déroulement de la semaine mondiale de l’allaitement maternel. Dans I' organisation Les activités ont notamment été fortement perturbées par: •Le début de préparation de la SMAM tardif ; •la réception tardive du matériel de communication: à partir du 03 Aout pour les brochures et du 04 et 05 Aout pour les tee-shirts et les cahiers; •la non réception de la totalité du matériel prévu : en effet, les bics et dépliants dont les maquettes sont partis en même temps que celles des autres matériels n' ont en fin de compte pas été réceptionnés ; •des erreurs de budgétisation: en effet, le budget voté ne prenait pas en compte l’acheminement du matériel vers les trois régions septentrionales, Adamaoua, Nord et Extrême-Nord. De même que l'acheminement vers la région du Sud, celle du Nord Ouest et l’Ouest. Dans le déroulement: Quelques perturbations sont également apparues lors du déroulement de la SMAM proprement dite : •Coordination des activités avec un seul véhicule et plusieurs équipes sur le terrain; •Pas de financement prévu pour certaines régions pour les activités de la SMAM: ce qui a conduit a des activités décousues selon les régions avec plus ou mains de réussite; •Dans la région de l'Est, compte tenu de ce que a la même période se déroulait l'enquêté SMART auprès des refugies, les activités de la SMAM y ont été reportées. RECOMMANDATIONS En guise de recommandations, nous retiendrons qu'en vue d'une meilleure organisation des futures célébrations de la SMAM, il faudra : •S'y prendre plus tôt dans les préparations de la SMAM, afin de bénéficier du soutien financier et matériel de plus de partenaires et du matériel de communication dans les délais ; •inclure dans les budgets futurs l'acheminement du matériel de communication vers les autres régions; •impliquer de plus en plus les medias aux activités de la Direction de la Promotion de la Sante en général, et celles de la SDAN en particulier; •Faire bénéficier de financement les activités de la SMAM prévues dans toutes les régions; VI -CONCLUSION La célébration de 1a 20ieme édition de la Semaine Mondiale de l’Allaitement Maternel au Cameroun a connu un certain succès, malgré les difficultés qui l’ont émaillé, de bout en bout et l' absence de cérémonie officielle. Selon que l’on se plaçait du coté des régions ou de celui du niveau central, des Associations ou des hôpitaux, les activités se sont déroulées avec plus ou moins de facilite et plus ou moins de réussite. Les principales initiatives qui ont été retenues pour la commémoration de la 20ieme célébration de la SMAM étaient notamment des briefings, de formation, des causeries éducatives, plusieurs participations a des émissions télévisées pour jeunes et adultes: «Bonjour », «Monday Show» et« Vendredi Show», ainsi qu'a l'émission «Health Watch », des activités sportives et ludiques. Mais la célébration ne s'est pas seulement déroulée au niveau de la Direction de la promotion de la Sante; elle a aussi eu lieu dans les régions avec plus ou moins de réussite selon que la région ait bénéficiée de financement ou non. Les principales difficultés qui ont été perçues sont pour la plupart liées a un retard dans Ie début de préparations des activités de cette commémoration. Ce retard a cause des désagréments dans la production et la livraison a temps du matériel aux régions. De plus, des erreurs de budgétisation sont venues perturber l’acheminement dudit matériel dans les régions éloignées du septentrion, de l'Ouest et du Nord Ouest. Cependant, la célébration de la 20ieme édition de la Semaine Mondiale de l’Allaitement Maternel s' est achevée avec une note d'optimisme: le réseau d'associations de l'IBFAN a mené des activités phares dans les régions, les points focaux nutrition dans les délégations régionales ont organisés des briefings, des causeries éducatives; ils ont anime des émissions radiophoniques; d'autres ont même utilisé l'internet pour envoyer des messages clés sur l' allaitement maternel a de nombreux abonnés de cette voie de communication. Les leçons des erreurs de cette célébration ont été tirées et des recommandations faites afin que les éditions futures se derou1ent avec moins d'imperfections et plus d'eclat. -

Monday, February 27, 2012

WBW 2012 Preparations Started

By Helen Ayamba,
It's Time To Act After 10 Years Global Strategy And 20 Years WBW!
WABA has made known the theme for WBW 2012. In a release by the International Coordinator of the World Breastfeeding Week, Julianne Lim Abdullah, it was made lnow that 20 years ago, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) launched its first World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) campaign with the theme: "Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative" and so much has happened in these 20 years. During the celebration this year, we are taking a look back to understand what has happened and why. Breastfeeding promotion and protection activists are planning more activities to support all women to be able to optimally feed and care for of their infants and young children.

2012 WBW Objectives

1. To recall what has happened in the past 20 years on Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF).
2. To celebrate successes and achievements nationally, regionally and globally and showcase national work at global level.
3. To assess the status of implementation of the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding (GS).
4. To call for action to bridge the remaining gaps in policy and programmes on breastfeeding and IYCF.
5. To draw public attention on the state of policy and programmes on breastfeeding and IYCF.

What is the Global Strategy?
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) jointly developed and launched the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding (GS) in 2002 reaffirming the four Innocenti targets set in 1995, and setting additional targets. The GS has identified a clear need for optimal infant feeding practices in reducing malnutrition as well as poverty. It is based on a human rights approach and calls for the development of comprehensive national policies on infant and young child feeding. It provides guidance on how to protect, promote and support exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, and continued breastfeeding for up to two years or beyond, together with adequate, appropriate and indigenous complementary feeding starting from the age of six (6) months.

How and Why we should monitor status of implementation of the Global Strategy?
In 2004 – 2005, the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN), that is one of WABA's core partners launched the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi) , to track, assess and monitor the implementation of the Global Strategy. According to UNICEF's State of the World's Children Report 2011, 136.7 million babies are born worldwide and only 32.6 % of them are breastfed exclusively in the first six months. According to the WBTi assessment of 40 countries, most of the 40 countries do not have an effective IYCF policy with an adequate budget for implementation. To be able to increase breastfeeding rates, it is important to assess policies and programmes and take action accordingly.
To prepare the minds of breastfeeding promoters and supporters in Cameroon towards the celebration of the World Breastfeeding Week 2012, we have shall be looking through the policy declarations made during the mass event launching in the past years. The videos on camlink99 channel take us back to Yaoundé, Obala, Ebolowa and Douala, where advocates for breastfeeding shared their opinions during mass events, emphasising the best option to guarantee the survival of babies. For more information, visit the following web sites –,

2012 WBW Photography Contest

Each year, WABA organizes a World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) Photography Contest. World Breastfeeding Week 2012 Photography contest is open until 15 March 2012. Advocates seize the opportunity to feature their breastfeeding photos in the year's Action Folder! Ten winning photos are selected, and contributors whose photos are featured in the WBW Action Folders, Posters and Banners are awarded US$100 for each published photo.

What WABA is looking for in 2012?

Countries are expected to mobilize people and resources for a national evaluation and create an information bulletin. Many countries are already involved in the process of World Breastfeeding Trend Initiative ratings. It is time for Cameroon to organize its second evaluation this year and plan a strategy for behaviour change communication. Cameroon Link has been a strong advocate for the respect of the articles of the International Code, as a means of promoting child rights. Cameroon Link will this year champion activities in the Central African region through the Federation of Cameroon Breastfeeding Promotions Associations, FECABPA. It has won the photo competition thrice. According to the president of FECABPA, a good photo can be taken if you understand issues related to breastfeeding. For more information visit the web site at You can also send a mail to Julianna Lim Abdullah, IBCLC through the following address: Email: