Cameroon

Situation Report

Highlights

  • North-West and South West situation report (1-31 March 2021 )
  • In March 2021, over 1,427 people were forced to flee their homes seeking shelter and safety in nearby bushes, villages, and towns because of violence in the two regions
  • 369 Gender Based Violence (GBV) incidents were reported in the two regions.
  • According to the Cadre Harmonisé analysis of March 2021, 1.15 million people are estimated to be severely food insecure in the two regions.
  • 336,417 people, the highest monthly number since the biginning of the crisis, benefited from food assistance and agriculture and livelihood activities.
Source: OCHA
The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations.

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Cameroon

Situation Report

Key Figures

2.2M
Affected people in NWSW
1.6M
Targeted for assistance in NWSW
712.8K
IDPs within or displaced from NWSW
333.9K
Returnees (former IDP) in NWSW
66K
Cameroonian refugees in Nigeria

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Cameroon

Situation Report

Funding

$390.9M
Required
$192.4M
Received
49%
Progress
FTS

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Contacts

Carla Martinez

Head of Office

Ilham Moussa

Head of Bamenda Sub-Office, North-West region

Dina Daoud

Head of Buea Sub-Office, South-West Region

Marie Bibiane Mouangue

Public information Officer

Cameroon

Situation Report
Visual

Map of IDP, from the North-West and South-West Regions of Cameroon

Map of IDPs and returnees from the North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon

Source: OCHA, IOM, CHOI, Partners

The boundaries and names shown, and the designations used on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations.

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Cameroon

Situation Report
Background

Situation Overview

The situation in the North-West and South-West (NWSW) regions remained concerning in March, with continued hostilities, targeted attacks, destruction of property, and increased use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The population continues to be caught in the middle of the crisis, subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment and kidnappings. Some people were targeted for alleged association with one side or the other, others were caught by stray bullets during crossfire.

Hostilities were reported in the Boyo division in the North-West (NW) region. On 5 March, armed men launched an attack on Fulani herdsmen as their cattle allegedly destroyed crops in the cultivated land in the lower Menchum valley in Boyo division in the NW. This attack led to the death of at least ten Fulani herdsmen while a 17-year-old girl was injured by a stray bullet. On 7 March, armed men attacked the Fulani’s community, reportedly as a reprisal for burning a woman alive in her house in Beneng village in the same division. Six members of the Fulani community were allegedly killed during this confrontation.

On 7 March, a video circulated on social media showing armed persons distributing World Food Programme (WFP) rice bags, reportedly seized earlier from a distribution site in Munyenge village in Muyuka subdivision.

On 26 March, armed men attacked a United Nations convoy in Ikata village, 41 km from Buea, in the South-West region of Cameroon. The convoy, which included two vehicles with seven staff members, was conducting a monitoring mission to Munyenge village in the South-West region. The mission was immediately aborted and the team returned safely to Buea but the two vehicles were severely damaged. This attack on a UN convoy was the first of its kind in the North-West and South-West regions. The Humanitarian Coordinator for Cameroon and UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Matthias Z. Naab, strongly condemned the attack and the UN suspended food distributions and humanitarian missions in the area until further notice. At least nine incidents of detonated or dismantled IEDs were reported. Humanitarian organizations were not directly targeted by IEDs but remained at risk of becoming collateral damage.

Attacks against school staff, students, and personnel were reported in the South-West region. On 5 March, unidentified gunmen abducted a student from a Government high school in Batoke village, Limbe 2 subdivision. The student was found tied to a tree in the afternoon of the same day. On 6 March, armed men intruded a full gospel secondary school in mile 4 Nkwen in Bamenda 3 subdivision and abducted two teachers and a student. The student was released few hours later while the two teachers remained in captivity. On 10 March, a 62 year-old man was physically assaulted by armed individuals in Meli village in Fundong Sub-Division after they discovered a school uniform in his bag.

Violence has resulted in multiple population displacements across the NWSW regions with over 1,427 people forced to flee their homes seeking shelter and safety in nearby bushes, villages, and towns in March alone. The Donga-Mantung, Boyo and Mezam divisions in the NW, and Manyu division in the SW, were the most affected.

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Cameroon

Situation Report
Trends
education
UNESCO provides access to relevant inclusive and quality education to out-of school children, through distance learning platforms (formal and non-formal education system) in the South-West region. Photo: UNESCO/Mirela Kuljanin

Humanitarian Response: Education

The Education Cluster recorded less security challenges compared to the previous months of this school year 2020/2021. Education activities slowed down in March as children went on Easter holidays. They resumed school on 12 April 2021 for the third term.

Education Cluster partners reached 27,823 students including 11,019 girls and 16,804 boys, with response interventions adapted to the COVID-19 context such as radio education, distance learning, distribution of recreational kits, psychosocial support, and COVID-19 sensitization.

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Situation Report
Trends
Food assistance
IDP beneficiary of food distribution in South-West region. Credit: OCHA Giles Clarke

Humanitarian Response: Food Security

19 Food Security Cluster partners collectively provided food, agriculture and livelihood assistance to 336,417 people, a 28 per cent increase compared to February 2021. 13 per cent of those beneficiaries received support through cash/voucher modalities. However, according to the March 2021 Cadre Harmonisé analysis, the overall food security needs have increased by 20 per cent compared to October 2020. 1.15 million people are now estimated to be severely food insecure in the NWSW regions. Meanwhile, more than 500,000 people in need of food security assistance are not being targeted due to funding constraints. Furthermore, as assets continue to be lost due to the crisis, many are left to succumb to negative coping strategies.

In line with the Cluster’s strategy to improve the capacity of its local partners, two staff members from local NGOs, the Strategic Humanitarian Services (SHUMAS) and the Environmental Protection and Development Association (EPDA), representing NW and SW respectively, attended the Cadre Harmonisé workshop. Over 10 members of the Cluster have been selected to participate in the upcoming protection mainstreaming trainings in Buea and Bamenda organized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and International Rescue Committee (IRC). The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) trained 14 zonal field staff of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MINADER) between 31 March and 2 April in Buea in the SW on targeting criteria.

WFP and FAO are conducting re-targeting exercises, which are at different stages of completion. This is to ensure a fair integration of the most vulnerable of the affected population into the different humanitarian assistance programmes.

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Situation Report
Trends
Health
MSF Community health volunteer providing free consultation to IDPs in South West region

Humanitarian Response: Health

The Health Sector in the NWSW regions is heavily affected by the ongoing crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. The regions have recorded their highest number of COVID-19 positive cases and deaths since the beginning of the pandemic: the SW recorded 710 positive cases while the NW recorded 1,959 in March alone. The case fatality rate in the NW increased from 4.1 per cent to 5.8 per cent and the case fatality rate in the SW remained 1.94 per cent. The mass testing campaign supported by World Health Organisation (WHO) in both regions made testing rates increase from below 100/10,000 people in January to 267/10,000 people in the SW and to 434/10,000 in the NW in March. The positivity rate of tests was 5.8 per cent in the NW and 4 per cent in the SW.

WHO supported the second round of the cholera vaccination campaign in the SW. 149,564 people were vaccinated against cholera in the Limbe and Tiko health districts in the SW. United Nations Childen’s Fund (UNICEF) supported the Regional Delegation of Public Health in the NW to carry out the third and last round three-days catch-up vaccination for children and pregnant women in four health districts in Bamenda, Kumbo West, Nkambe, and Wum, respectively. 1,624 children from 0 -11 months and 487 pregnant women received missed vaccines. 1,000 children from 6 – 59 months received the Measles and Rubella (MR) vaccines and 343 pregnant women were provided with intermittent preventive treatment for malaria prevention.

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Situation Report
Trends
Nutrition
A child with severe acute malnutrition admitted for treatment at the limbe regional hospital supported by UNICEF Credit: UNICEF/Salomon Beguel

Humanitarian Response: Nutrition

Nutrition Cluster partners screened 18,864 children under five years old, including 9,020 boys and 9,884 girls, for acute malnutrition. 42 children, equivalent to 0.2 per cent of the screened children, were identified with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and were referred for appropriate treatment. 168 children, equivalent to 0.9 per cent, were identified with moderate acute malnutrition (MAM). They received nutrition counselling and are assisted through the blanket distribution programme by WFP.

Nutrition partners started a blanket supplementary feeding programme (BSFP) in food insecure areas. 10,610 children including 4,991 boys and 5,619 girls aged between six and 23 months and 6,819 pregnant and lactating women were supported as part of the preventive programme for undernutrition. The number of beneficiaries reached is low compared to those reached in February due to increased insecurity which resulted in the suspension of nutrition activities in the Muyuka sub-division in the SW.

The Cluster Coordination Performance Monitoring (CCPM) underscored a need to strengthen advocacy, early warning mechanisms and partners’ understanding of the Cluster’s role. During the Nutrition Cluster meeting held on 25 March, partners agreed on three key points: to better collaborate with health facilities offering services for the management of wasting [also known as low weight-for-height], to strengthen the referral system for severe wasting cases, and to strengthen the management of supplies. Finally, an updated mapping of health facilities offering services for the management of wasting was shared to partners to facilitate referrals.

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Situation Report
Trends

Humanitarian Response: Protection

The protection environment in the NWSW remained very concerning due to ongoing insecurity with attacks on education, indiscriminate arrests, increased use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), kidnappings and threats against the population as well as frequent clashes between Government security forces and armed groups which led to displacements. Protection partners reported 620 protection incidents including 178 incidents of threats to life, liberty and security of persons, 139 incidents of destruction of habitats, 77 cases of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) including rape and emotional violence, 28 incidents of killings, four incidents of kidnapping and 194 other protection incidents. It is therefore important to continue engaging with State and non-State actors on the respect of human rights, the commitment to humanitarian principles, and the need to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

Protection Cluster partners reached 1,538 persons with various protection responses. 119 persons benefitted from psychosocial support services, 113 individuals received non-food items (NFIs), 186 children and adults received support to enable them to acquire civil status documents, and 620 individuals were provided with legal assistance with 544 regaining access to their property.

246,000 persons were reached during protection monitoring activities in the two regions, including in detention centers. 77 vulnerable persons encountered during protection monitoring activities were referred to other humanitarian sectors for assistance.

Additionally, Protection Cluster partners organized 10 capacity building sessions for 156 humanitarian actors and community members: 70 persons were trained on protection mainstreaming and the centrality of protection, while 86 others gained knowledge on House, Land, and Propriety (HLP) related topics. 8,481 persons were also sensitized on the prevention of discrimination, civil status documentation, rights and responsibilities of IDPs, and COVID-19 preventive measures

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Situation Report
Trends

Humanitarian Response: Child Protection Area of Responsibility (AoR)

Due to the increased insecurity and intensified clashes between Government security forces and armed groups, the situation of children and adolescents remains very concerning. Physical violence and sexual abuse against minors continued to be reported by Child Protection (CP) actors.

CP AoR partners reached more than 17,000 children and caregivers with different activities and interventions. More than 4,100 children and caregivers were reached with psychosocial support services and positive parenting skills in child-friendly and other safe spaces. More than 7,500 people were reached with awareness raising sessions on CP, GBV and the COVID-19 pandemic.

As for CP case management services, CP AoR members reached 510 children throughout the SW and NW regions. 105 unaccompanied/ separated children were identified and placed in alternative care while the process of family tracing and reunification takes place. More than 223 children were provided with birth certificates and/or other civil status documentation.

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Trends

Humanitarian Response: GBV Area of Responsibility

369 GBV cases were reported to relevant service providers in March. 100 per cent of the survivors received assistance in accordance with the “do no harm” principle through secured and coordinated referrals. The number of reported cases represents those collected by GBV partners during the implementation of their activities and are not a representation of all GBV incidents that took place in the two regions. Reported figures cannot therefore be used to generate or track GBV prevalence data.

Survivors of GBV incidents are mostly women, representing 91 per cent of the cases, with two per cent being people with disabilities. 24 per cent of survivors are children. 34 per cent of survivors received psychosocial support, 43 per cent received health related support, and 10 per cent received livelihood services. There is a critical need to scale up lifesaving GBV services and advocate for access to affected communities in hard-to-reach areas.

GBV partners reached 20,828 people with prevention and response interventions, including GBV awareness raising and information on available services, dignity kits and sanitary pads distribution, women and girls safe space activities, psychosocial support and psychological first aid, youth and adolescent support programmes, vocational training for women, capacity building for community members and frontline workers on GBV concepts, engagement of men and boys to raise awareness on GBV, and GBV risk mitigation.

GBV AoR members attended a two-day workshop on protection mainstreaming organized by the Protection Cluster in Buea for the SW and Bamenda for the NW on 11 and 12 March.

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Situation Report
Trends

Humanitarian Response: Shelter/NFI

Shelter/NFI Cluster partners reached 14,624 individuals with shelter and NFI kits, including 3,157 in the NW and 11,467 in the SW.

In the NW region, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) through its partners, Community Initiative for Sustainable Development (COMINSUD) and Cameroon Baptist Convention (CBC), distributed 575 packs comprising emergency shelter items, household and kitchen items, and hygiene items in Bali in the Mezam division, and Oku and Noni in the Bui division, reaching 3,242 individuals. Community Health and Social Development for Cameroon (COHESODEC) distributed 212 emergency shelter kits in Bambui, Big Babanki, Small Babanki and Sabga villages in Tubah subdivision, reaching 1,272 individuals. Strategic Humanitarian Services (SHUMAS) organization continued to provide 41 students with accommodation subsidies.

In the SW region, Plan International distributed 70 emergency shelter kits in Wotutu village in the Buea sub-division. Danish Refugee Council (DRC) distributed 2,035 emergency shelter kits in the Tiko and Mbonge sub-divisions. NRC through partners Authentic Memorial Foundation (AMEF) and Food and Rural Development Foundation (FORUDEF) distributed 1,000 packs comprising temporary shelter kits, household, and kitchen items in Matoh town and Matoh Butu in the Konye sub-division, and Asum and Eshobi in the Manyu division, reaching 7,878 individuals.

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Trends

Humanitarian Response: Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

WASH partners carried out various activities including COVID-19 prevention interventions for 62,148 individuals in the NWSW regions. Additionally, they trained health workers, hygiene promoters, volunteers, and water user committees on the surveillance of water points and the maintenance of the potable water system.

WASH Cluster partners and strategic advisory group (SAG) agencies developed the Preliminary Cluster Coordination Performance Monitoring (CCPM) report, which underlined as main gaps the lack of sufficient funds and lack of capacity building for non-governmental organisations reporting.

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Situation Report
Coordination

Humanitarian Coordination

OCHA continued to ensure the coordination of the response in the NWSW regions and continued to advocate for humanitarian access and for effective and principled humanitarian action through regular meetings with relevant stakeholders.

OCHA provided support to secure access for three humanitarian monitoring and assessment missions of United Nations agencies in the NWSW regions. This included missions to Batibo and Nwa subdivisions in the NW region, and to Kumba, Mamfe, Eyumojock and Nguti in the SW region.

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Emergency Response
Attack rate per 10,000 people
Attack rate per 10,000 people Source: Cameroon COVID-19 Situation report n.72 (from 18 to 24 March 2021)

COVID-19 Situation report - It covers the period from 1 February to 31 March 2021.

HIGHLIGHTS  

  • The cumulative COVID-19 cases in Cameroon rose with more than 23,000 new cases. In January, Cameroon recorded 30,700 cases including 474 deaths in January 2020; while in March the country recorded 56,596 cases including 779 deaths. With a case fatality rate of 1.4 per cent, Cameroun remains among the 10 most-affected African countries with the highest number of COVID-19 cases.

  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) donated 25 ambulances and medical equipment to the Ministry of Public Health, intended to strengthen the health system and COVID-19 response.

  • Between 22 and 26 February 2021, the Ministry of Public Health (MoH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) organized an internal review of the COVID-19 response with partners. The main objective was to examine the national functional capacity of the COVID-19 response.

  • On 5 March, in his special communication following the significant increase of COVID-19 cases, the Prime Minister reiterated the rigorous observance of preventive measures. He also announced the arrival of more than a million vaccines to strengthen the COVID-19 prevention system in Cameroon.

  • 56,596 COVID-19 cases

  • 13,901 Active cases as per 24 March 2021

  • 1,691 healthcare workers infected

  • 1.2M Cumulation of samples tested for COVID-19 (TDR+PCR)

  • 1,4% Fatality rate

SITUATION OVERVIEW 

The COVID-19 epidemiolocal trend is worsening. The country recorded more than 23,000 new positive cases in March. As of 22 March, the UN and NGOs in Cameroon reported 323 cumulative cases and four deaths with 27 active cases among their staff. The Centre and Littoral regions remain the most affected and the situation in schools and universities remains worrying. 186 over 190 health districts are affected by the pandemic. The support provided by UNDP in the acquisition of 25 ambulances and medical equipment is part of the World Health Organization (WHO) “no regret” approach, which aims to strengthen the health system in a sustainable and comprehensive manner. This delivery is part of an agreement of $27.44 million signed between the Government of Cameroon and the Islamic Development Bank, to provide immediate assistance to COVID-19 affected communities through the provision of vital medical and non-medical equipment including scanners, respiratory equipment, ambulances, mobile radios for communication, etc. Following a review conducted by the Ministry of Public Health (MoH) with COVID-19 response actors at Kribi, in the South region, WHO advised to accelerate the COVID-19 vaccination process, redouble vigilance through surveillance, active case detection, enhanced case management and to ensure the compliance with barrier measures. WHO also recommended to enhance capacity building and continuity of care, and to better integrate the fight against COVID-19 into national disease surveillance and control systems. In the Coordination meeting of the Incident Management System (IMS), chaired by the Minister of Public Health, that was held in the Littoral region on 27 February, the Resident Representatives of WHO and UNICEF, and the Secretary General of the Ministry of Public Health recommended to reinforce the barrier measures in hospitals to avoid contamination of medical staff and front-liners who are assisting patients. In March, authorities announced the upcoming arrival of COVID-19 vaccines. The operation, which is part of the COVAX Global Access Facility, will be launched nationwide, and will initially allow the administration of one million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Health workers, people over 50 years old with comorbidities and existing conditions, vulnerable people and teachers, are priority targets. The vaccine will also be made available to special groups and the general public after the priority groups have been vaccinated. The MoH reiterated that the vaccine will be free and administrated on a voluntary basis.

Gaps & constraints

The MoH has conducted a lesson learned exercise on the COVID-19 response, which revealed the following gaps in the COVID-19 response:

  • Lack of sensitization on stress management and side effects related to COVID-19 vaccination.

  • Lack of medical ambulances and vehicles.

  • Lack of oxygen supply centers in the regions.

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Situation Report
Emergency Response

Case management and IPC

Needs:

  • With the increase in COVID-19 cases, health workers are more exposed. As of 24 March, 1,691 health personnel have been infected. Capacity building and provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) are necessary.

  • Strengthening of barrier measures within the UN agencies to protect personnel and their dependents severely affected by COVID-19.

  • School infirmaries are not sufficiently equipped to test all students. There is a need to organize massive testing in schools.

  • Need to monitor many asymptomatic cases living among community members who have no access to medical and psychological support.

Response

  • On 26 February, the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) presented a COVID-19 vaccine deployment plan and a budget to COVID-19 response partners.

  • While preparing for massive testing and vaccination, surveillance activities are continuing in schools and universities. The table below reflects the screening situation in schools and universities as of 17 March.

Gaps & Constraints:

  • The COVID-19 vaccine deployment plan does not clearly indicate the needed logistical resources, particularly the cold chain.

  • Limited logistical means to do tests in schools.

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Emergency Response

Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE)

Needs:

  • Development of the COVID-19 vaccine communication plan including the crisis communication plan.

  • Putting the COVID-19 vaccination on the Government communication agenda.

Response:

  • The new RCCE strategy aims to direct actions towards mass gathering locations like schools, churches etc.

  • On 24 March, the Government has issued a statement indicating the closure of all churches that do not comply with COVID-19 barrier measures. Also, the Centre region Governor has issued a statement prohibiting festive gatherings until further notice.

  • UNICEF has expressed its readiness to support the Government in the development of communication materials on the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Ongoing awareness raising campaigns on the importance of wearing masks and the respect to barrier measures in schools and health facilities across the national territory.

Gaps & Constraints:

  • There are no Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) community programmes for people who share houses with COVID-19 patients.

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Emergency Response

Points of Entry (POE)

Needs:

  • As the number of COVID-19 cases increases, the Government needs to implement new mobility restriction measures. It is important to localize and evaluate prevention and response measures taken so far in PoE to face sanitary challenges.

  • Need to strengthen testing at border posts: the discovery of new variants of the COVID 19 virus suggests that entry points, when not properly monitored and controlled, are enabling the spread of the disease. 73 people tested positive for COVID-19 between 15 and 21 March.

Response:

  • Between December 2020 and February 2021, IOM collected data at 71 PoEs across nine regions through phone interviews with many key informants at health border points and border management posts. As a result, a mobility database mapping the location, status and different restrictions imposed at key PoEs was developed. The database will help national authorities, UN agencies, humanitarian organizations and other stakeholders to identify and develop adequate pandemic preparedness and response interventions at PoEs.

  • As of 28 February, 15 out of 71 assessed PoEs have been completely open to traffic, mostly to allow transport of goods to landlocked neighboring countries, including the Central African Republic (CAR) and Chad.

  • IOM provided the border health posts of Kentzou and Garoua Boulai in the East region with containers to house the COVID-19 testing teams.

Gaps & Constraints:

  • Health workers are present only in 33 out of 64 PoEs assessed and 45 per cent of PoEs are having personal protection equipment and handwashing stations.

  • 74 per cent of the PoEs does not have standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place to manage flows and detect travelers infected with the virus.

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Emergency Response

Operational support and logistics

Needs:

  • The internal review of the COVID 19 response enabled to identify needs in relation to the upcoming use of vaccines.

  • The need for strengthened cold chain for the country wide vaccination.

  • The need for a large-scale vaccine distribution network.

Response:

  • On 27 February, UNICEF’s Representative handed over the first consignment of 842 refrigerators to the Minister of Public Health, to provide health facilities that offer vaccination services. This delivery is part of a four-year project which will equip health facilities with at least 3,086 refrigerators, among other equipment, for a total cost of CFA $7 billion, jointly financed by the Government of Cameroon and UNICEF.

  • On 26 February, the Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) facility notified Cameroon about the allocation of 1,752,000 AstraZeneca/Oxford (SII) COVID-19 Vaccine doses.

Gaps & Constraints:

  • The maintenance service for newly received equipment is not guaranteed, especially for health districts in remote areas.

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