Monday, February 28, 2011

COL Cameroon Link Project Shared With FECABPA

By Cameroon Link
The different articulations of the Commonwealth of Learning were shared with the members of the Federation of Cameroon Breastfeeding promotion Associations, FECABPA, on the 18th February 2011, at the head office of Cameroon Link in Douala on the occasion of the 8th ordinary general assembly. Members of FECABPA used the opportunity to review their past activities in 2010 and exchanged on ways of introducing the open distance learning strategy into their 2011 action plan.
Considering that the World Breastfeeding Week, WBW, celebrated in August each year falls within the scope of maternal and child health protection, FECABPA resolved to work with the COL Cameroon Link partnership liaison for the preparation of activities at the national level with the support of the ministry of public health.
The theme of WBW 2011 – “Talk to Me! Breastfeeding, a 3D Experience” was discussed. The theme is made available each year by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, WABA. This year’s activities will focus on youths around the world.
World Breastfeeding Week is an annual celebration and awareness campaign highlighting and recognizing the benefits of breastfeeding in communities across the globe. While there has been overwhelming support for breastfeeding from various international agencies (UNICEF, WHO, etc), women still face significant barriers and obstacles in their breastfeeding experiences. WBW aims to bring breastfeeding to the forefront of community agendas so everyone can be part of the dialogue!
Within the planned activities of mother and child health care radio design programmes, COL Cameroon Link exchanged with members of FECABPA on the meaning of the WBW theme, what the different nutrition and health associations want to accomplish in 2011,
Issues related to the theme include;
 Poverty Reduction, Hunger & Breastfeeding – MDG 1
 “double burden” & breastfeeding – MDG 4
 Maternal health & breastfeeding – MDG 5
 Unethical formula marketing – Quick fact about the Code,
 Environmental protection & breastfeeding – save x% waste from conserving on trash & cows milk
 Breastfeeding in the workplace – one of the places gov. play the BIGGEST role is policy to allow mothers to work and breastfeed
 Youth & breastfeeding and
 Breastfeeding and human capital development
The COL Cameroon Link Partnership Liaison, James Achanyi-Fontem, who doubles as the International Coordinator of WABA Men’s Initiative for promoting, protecting and supporting lactating mothers called on FECABPA members to work on ‘community’ or ‘communication’ oriented action ideas and highlight new ideas suggestions to improve the promotion breastfeeding activities using communication and youth involvement as well as other humanitarian movements (as organizations that work on the right of the women and children, gender issues, violence against women’s and children’s ,etc)
He added that research highlights will fit in this programme context, if associations looked at “Recommendation” section of studies that deal with counselling breastfeeding mothers, because often it seems like information is passed, but mother does not abide by the advice given by medical professionals. Participants during the events organized from the 1st – 7th August should highlight disparity and need for proper communication.
“With so many communication channels at our finger tips, now is the time to truly share and empower. It is also a challenge for us to think creatively about how to get the timeless message across and involve non-traditional audiences. All a mother needs is to feel supported, and this support must come from all angles, and all social contacts. This year’s theme is meant to remind us that breastfeeding really is a 3D experience – an outreach opportunity, an investment in a healthy future, and ultimately, a unique lens by which to see the world. Remember, men often are uninformed, women need encouragement, and youth are our future, questioning everything. We are the world out there, and we want to know. Please, Talk to me!!”
16 members representing 9 active infant and young child feeding associations based in Limbe, Yaounde, Ebolowa and Douala took part in COL Cameroon programme sharing exchanges meeting, which was reported on Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV) and Canal 2 Tv.
On the way forward, members adopted the following general orientations during the year 2011:
 Expand on COL and FECABPA action partnership to include ministry of public health, ministry of education, ministry for women and the family, WHO, UNICEF, and other potential funding organisations.
 Focalise activities on youths in conformity with the theme of the World Breastfeeding Week 2011, “Talk to me about Breastfeeding”
 Organise more COL Cameroon Programme sharing of activities outcome with more national groups, as a means of reinforcing capacities of their members.
 Work closely with associations at health district level for targeting grassroot populations.
 The next national working session with associations was scheduled for Ebolowa, in the south region of Cameroon on Saturday, 25th June 2011.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Donates To Farm Radio International

By James Achanyi-Fontem, Cameroon
The Executive Director of Farm Radio International, Kervin Perkins, has informed its African Partner Organizations that Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will continue to give support to FRI work in 2011. This information was made known in the FRI Weekly Bulletin of February 2011
To break the news, Kervin Perkins said, 2011 is off to a great start, at a time FRI completed the 42-month African Farm Radio Research Initiative (AFRRI) and was already pulling together reports and spreading the news about what it learned because of the research.
FRI director acknowledged that FRI gathered compelling evidence, for the first time, that participatory radio works and works well! This means that when radio programs feature farmers' voices and perspectives and features practical, sustainable farming practices they are very widely listened to and have a measurable significant impact on farmers' knowledge and most importantly, their practices.
On the strength of these findings and the outstanding work of Farm Radio International's staff in Africa and Ottawa, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has offered a second grant to allow us FRI extend effective farm radio services to more farmers in more countries! The 92nd script package released in late December 2010, focuses on the very important issue of water integrity in Africa.
Farm Radio Weekly, is FRI electronic bulletin of news and information about small scale-farming for African radio broadcasters, and it passed the 1000 African subscriber mark in 2010. To strengthen its ability to serve these rural broadcasters even better, FRI have opened two small news bureaus in Africa - one in Malawi, and one in Burkina Faso. These bureaus are already generating original stories about farming issues for Farm Radio Weekly. Another exciting piece of news is that the 2010 winner of the George Atkins Communication Award, Grace Amito, will visit Canada in March 2011.
Grace is the producer and host of farm radio programs at Mega FM in Northern Uganda. During her travel to Canada, she will meet with and give presentations to friends of Farm Radio International in Ottawa, Toronto, Guelph and Montreal. Friends and donors to Farm Radio International will get hard facts about Africa and the work of FRI during the rounds. Brenda Jackson at is booking appointments on this eventful trip by our African colleague. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions on how to expand FRI work in Africa, please email Kervin Perkins through

Friday, February 4, 2011

Pauline Kisanga Directs COUNSENUTH Tanzania

By James Achanyi-Fontem,
Cameroon Link
The Centre for Counselling, Nutrition and Health Care (COUNSENUTH) has announced the election of Pauline Kisanga as new Executive Director for COUNSENUTH, effective from 1st January 2011. According to the organisation, this change is part of COUNSENUTH’s usual process of activating leadership. Mrs. Kisanga takes over from Ms. Restituta Shirima who served as Executive Director from January 2007 to December 2010.
Mrs. Kisanga is taking to the centre a wealth of experience and expertise which is expected to make COUNSENUTH grow, expand and flourish. Mrs Kisanga has long experience in nutrition and management, which includes the years served as a Director for Community Nutrition and also Director for Nutrition Education at Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre (TFNC) in the 1990s.
From Tanzania, Pauline Kisanga served as Regional for the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) Africa, based in Swaziland for 12 years. COUNSENUTH is excited having her and looks forward to very fruitful years ahead for the organisation under her leadership.
Cameroon Link will join all the members of the WABA Men’s Working Group to accord her the cooperation that previous directors have enjoyed. Cameroon Link appreciates the partnership/collaboration it has always had with COUNSENUTH, and looks forward to
even stronger partnerships and working relations in order to continue efforts towards improvement of the quality of life of all mothers and children in Tanzania, Cameroon and Africa as a whole. The chairperson of COUNSENUTH, Mary G. Materu, announcing the good news said, “Together we can make a positive difference”.Congratulations! Pauline. For information, visit the website or write to: Mary G. Materu, MSc., Chairperson The Centre for Counselling, Nutrition and Health Care (COUNSENUTH)
432 United Nations Road, P.O. Box 8218, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.
Cell Phone: (255) 754 279 145

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

WABA Secretariat Revamped

By James Achanyi-Fontem, Coordinator, WABA MWG

Sarah Amin, Director of WABA, has announced two very important promotions within the secretariat of the organisation on February 1, 2011. The announcement was done on Kong Hei Fatt Choy - The Chinese New Year’s day. The Chinese new year of the metal rabbit came with the good tidings of two promotions within the WABA Secretariat:

The first is the promotion of Julianna Lim Abdullah, IBCLC, our very own International World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) Coordinator, to Deputy Director of WABA. Julianna started her new position as of 1 February 2011 and is taking on more of the administrative and management task of the office; working closely with Sita Letchmi and the director.

The second promotion is Sita Letchmi, who moved from Coordinator of Administration and Governance to Senior Coordinator also started 1 February 2011. She is taking on more of the financial responsibilities together with the director of WABA.

The Financial Officer, Dorothy Teng, is reported to have resigned as of 1 February 2011. The Secretariat will be advertising the position for a new Accounts person soon.
Bravo! Julianna and Sita from the Men’s Working Group and Cameroon Link

World's Oldest Person Passes Through Transition

By James Achanyi-Fontem
Eunice Sanborn,114, from Texas, USA died on Monday, January 31, 2011, Eunice was believed to be the world's oldest person on earth until she passed away, although she had maintained she was actually 115.
Eunice Sanborn died at 6 a.m. at her home in Jacksonville, her close friend and caretaker, David French, told the Jacksonville Daily Progress. David French, Sanborn's “adopted” son and caretaker, said her death was a peaceful one.“The Lord just called her home,” he said. “He had been using her as a powerful witness for 115 years.
“It was a very peaceful death. She was not uncomfortable.”
Sanborn has been a Jacksonville icon for years, thanks to her involvement in the community and her ownership of Love's Lookout. She rose to nationwide fame in April 2010, however, when she was declared the oldest living person in the U.S.
Not long after, in November 2010, she was declared the world's oldest living person upon the death of Eugenie Blanchard, a nun from the French West Indies.
Sanborn turned 115 in July 2010 and lived at home with 24-hour care until her death.
She was born July 20, 1895, in Lake Charles, La.
Jacksonville Daily Progress / AFP / Getty Images
Eunice Sanborn, who was recognized as the world's oldest person, died at her home in Jacksonville, Texas. According to official records, she was 114 years old, but she maintained she was really 115.
"The Lord just called her home," French said. "He has been using her as powerful witness for 115 years."
Census records show Sanborn was born on July 20, 1896, in Lake Charles, La., according to the Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group, which listed Sanborn as the world's oldest person.
But French said Sanborn always maintained the Census Bureau had made a mistake and she was really born in 1895. She celebrated what she believed was her 115th birthday on July 20, 2010 Agence France-Presse reported.
Sanborn became known as the world's oldest person on Nov. 4, when French nun Eugenie Blanchard died at age 114 on the French Caribbean island of St. Barthelemy, The Associated Press said.
The distinction now goes to 114-year-old Besse Cooper, who was born on Aug. 26, 1896, and lives in Georgia, the Gerontology Research Group said. Walter Breuning, of Montana, also 114, now becomes the world's second-oldest person. He was born Sept. 21, 1896.
Sanborn was married and widowed three times, according to a 2008 profile in the Houston Chronicle. Her third husband died in 1979. She also outlived her only child, a daughter.