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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Strengthening Community IMCI in Eastern Cameroon

Laban E. Tsuma, MBchB, MPH and Pierre-Marie Metangmo, MD, MPH, MBA. Child Survival Unit, Plan, 3260 Wilson Blvd., Ste. 21, Arlington, VA 22201, 703-807-0190, laban.tsuma@plan-international.org

Background Plan International implemented a Child Survival project in partnership with the Ministry of Health, a local NGO and CBOs in Eastern Province in Cameroon from 2000 to 2004. The project aimed to reduce child mortality through increased access and improved health service quality. It supported implementation of the MOH's community outreach policy. This it did by strengthening linkages between health facilities and community groups. It improved local capacity by forming partnerships with local CBOs, women groups, and Health Area Committees. It strengthened skills in participatory needs assessment, project implementation, monitoring and evaluation. This community empowerment methodology was supported by project interventions at the district and national levels aimed at increasing service quality and at implementing existing government policies supportive of community empowerment.

Methods A population-based Knowledge, Coverage, and Practices survey was conducted at baseline and endline. An external evaluation assessed (1) if the program had met stated objectives; (2) effectiveness of the technical approaches; (3) lessons learned. Results were also analyzed using the 2003 Lancet child survival methodology, which estimates mortality reductions from project outcome data.

Results One hundred and twenty CBOs, women groups and health area committees were mobilized with the help of a local NGO, Association for the Self-Promotion of the Eastern Province Population (AAPPEC). The volunteers in the local CBOs trained during the project continue to work on decreasing child mortality. The project achieved the following objectives in malaria, diarrhea control, nutrition, and immunization: Children under two who slept under an ITN increased from 0.4% to 40.8%. Correct treatment of children with diarrhea seen at health facilities increased by 43.7% (23% to 66.7%) Exclusive breastfeeding of infants 0-5 months increased by 27.9% (29% to 56.9%) Mothers of children (0-23 months) with mild to moderate malnourished children who participated in community-based rehabilitation increased from 0% to 62%. Children 12-23 months who were fully immunized increased by 30.2% (24.7% to 54.9%?)

Recommendations A community empowerment process based on C-IMCI that builds capacity and is aided by supportive MOH policies can have high impact. This process can be scaled up by MOHs.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Child Health, International Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

NGO Community Empowerment Approaches to Improve Child Health: Overview and Three Case Studies

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA