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.

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