Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Knock Out Malaria From Cameroon




Civil Society Organisations Drilled On Good Governance
By James Achanyi-Fontem, camlink99@gmail.com
Some 45 representatives of civil society organisations and heads of health districts in the Litooral region of Cameroon have been drilled on good governance of financial management, advocacy and resource mobilisation during a three-day workshop within the frame work of Scaling Up Malaria Control for Impact (SUFI) in Cameroon. SUFI is financed by Round 9 of the Global Fund for the fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Cameroon Link is amongst the civil society organisations selected to participate in the execution phase of the distribution of long duration impregnated mosquito nets within the frame work of the Global Fund round 9 programme in the littoral region. The workshop was organised by the regional delegation for public health in collaboration with the Malaria Consortium – Cameroon Coalition Against Malaria (MC-CCAM), Plan Cameroon and IRESCO.
Key facilitators of the workshop were Daniel Sibetcheu (MC-CCAM), Sob Eric Arsene (Plan Cameroon) and Valerie Ahouama (IRESCO). Addressing the participants, the Interim Regional Delegate for Public Health, Dr. Dissongo Jean II, said the training aimed at preparing the civil society organisations in Cameroon to become fully involved in advocacy and the mobilisation of resources for Scaling Up Malaria Control fro Impact from 2011 to 2015.
Daniel Sibetcheu told the civil society leader that malaria is the cause of over 780.000 deaths in the world and 90% is from Africa. In effect, an African child dies every 45 seconds by WHO records, even though malaria can be prevented and treated through involvement of all stakeholders of a community.
It is expected that the involvement of civil society organisations will increase the use of impregnated mosquito nets by all to 80% and the most vulnerable groups like pregnant women and children below the age of 5 will be protected.
The principal strategies adopted for Scaling UP Malaria for Impact in Cameroon are:
 The organisation of a mass campaign for the distribution of long duration impregnated mosquito nets in 2011
 The organisation of routine distribution of mosquito nets to pregnant women and other sustenance strategies from 2011 to 2015
 The rationalisation of management of cases through rapid diagnostic tests before treatment at the facilities and within the communities.
It is expected that this approach will improve on partnerships with the full participation of the civil society organisations selected and the coordination of all parties involved. Participants at the workshop were informed that the project is been executed with the “dual track” policy of the Global fund. This policy calls for the involvement of the government and the civil society organisations at all levels of implementation of activities.
It is within this context that the Ministry of Public Health is the Principal Recipient 1 on the government side and Plan Cameroon is the Principal Recipient 2 as Civil Society. The two recipients are operating in collaboration with three sub recipients that include “l’Association Camerounaise pour le Marketing social (ACMS)”, Malara Consortium – Cameroon Coaltion Against Malaria (MC-CCAM) and l’Institut pour la Recherche, le développement Socio-économique et la Communication (IRESCO).
In the organisation of the strategies, 10 regional civil society organisations, CSO, 179 district civil society organisations and 15.500 community based organisations, CBO, were selected to implement action plans at the respective levels of the project.
This explains why the training was deemed important to explain the vital role to be played by the civil society organisations in Cameroon for Scaling Up Malaria Prevention for Impact. It was made clear that the Global Fund in transparency and good governance policy does not tolerate any incidents of fraud and mismanagement. It counts on the civil society organisation to play a very important role for behaviour change communication throughout the project execution process in Cameroon.
For three days, the civil society organisations’ capacities were reinforced in the areas of advocacy, good governance, financial management and resource mobilisation. The civil society organisations received two key modules prepared as guidelines for executing the work within the health district communities and for organising similar training for the community based organisation.
The Regional Coordinator for the fight against malaria in the littoral, Dr. Gertrude Bita, accompanied the training facilitators throughout their mission and an evaluation was organised at the end of each. The evaluation assisted in monitoring the level of understanding of the content of the modules delivered and gaps were closed as the theoretical and practical sessions unfolded with presentations after work in groups.

Friday, October 14, 2011

COL Healthy Communities Workshop



Highlights of CLP Content
By James Achanyi-Fontem, Cameroon Link
Gail White Presents COL Workshop Programme
From: camlink99 | Oct 6, 2011 |
This video highlights Gail White's welcome and presentation of the week's programme of the Commonwealth of Learning Healthy Communities workshop. Gail White is the Executive Director of the Media Training Centre, MTC, for Health in Cape Town, South Africa. MTC was host of the COL workshop. Cameroon Link was there and made this video for sharing

Patrick Prendeergast of CARIMAC Jamaica on CLP sustainability

From: camlink99 | Oct 2, 2011 |
Patrick Prendergast of CARIMAC Jamaica in this video shares his experience on how to sustain a programme, emphasizing on the project design, increase of funding possibility and capacity building. Patrick added that there needs to be clarity at the planning stage of any Community of Learning Programme. The tool kit unit on sustainability was discussed and experiences shared with COL partners during the healthy community workshop. Cameroon Link produced video with the inclusion of power point project to facilitate understanding for the issue and for sharing. For more on the Commonwealth of Learning sustainability, visit the web site at - http://www.col.org

Blythe Mckay on FRI Networking Strategies
From: camlink99 | Oct 1, 2011
Blythe Mckay, the Farm Radio International Manager of Programs and Partnership addressed participants at the Commonwealth of Learning healthy communties partners' workshop on networking opportunities and impact in Cape Town, South Africa.Cameroon Link was there and produced this for sharing.

Franklin Huizies of AMARC
From: camlink99 | Oct 1, 2011 |
Franklin Huizies is the Vice President of AMARC Africa. In the video shared here, Franklin makes a contribution on CLP trends and how issues should or can be approached for greater outcomes in media development.

Discover Radio Atlantis in South Africa
From: camlink99 | Oct 1, 2011 |
Radio Atlantis first went on air on 1 September 1995. The station's mission statement is to act as a medium to empower the community in its broadcasting area, through education and information and providing a voice and entertainment to such communities and promotes the rights of those who have been denied their basic human rights in the past, in particular women and children's rights.
The radio, which broadcasts on the 107.9 FM Stereo frequency to Atlantis; Langebaan; Sea Point; Cape Town; Abbotsdale; Mamre; Philadelphia; Tableview; Malmesbury; Darling; and Klipheuwel, is registered as a section 21 company and broadcasts in Afrikaans, English and isiXhosa. Radio Atlantis reaches listeners in LSM groups one to eight of all ages. The station broadcasts 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
This video was made by Cameroon Link during a study visit to the station in September 2011 by Commonwealth of Learning Healthy Communities Partners, who attended a workshop in Cape Town hosted by the Media Training Centre for Health. The Executive Director of MTC, Gail white, made the arrangement since her centre is promoting a health education programme at Radio Atlantis.
During the session videoed here, COL partners learnt about how the station's listeners' club contributes in the design of story episodes. The programmed listened here concerns the fight against drug abuse amongst youths within the community. Since the programmes impact on the listeners, they are given an opportunity to tell their own story through testimonies. Cameroon Link produced this video for sharing.

Discover Radio Altantis, Cape Town, South Africa
From: camlink99 | Sep 30, 2011 |
During the last Commonwealth of Learning Healthy Community Partners Workshop in Cape Town, the host organisation, Media Training Centre for Health, MTC, planned a field to Radio Atlantis.
Radio Atlantis is one of the community radio stations authorised to operate in South Africa. After several years of existence, it is working towards autonomy and would be housed by its own permanent building shortly. The road was long, but because its activities impacted on the livelihood of the community, it survived through production of dedicated programmes on issues facing youths in the community like drug abuse.
During the trip to Atlantis, COL HC Partners were introduced to the station authority, who highlighted the struggle for survival of the station. It was a community radio put in place to fight Apartheid, but it is today, a promotion of livelihood tool. In the video presented her by Cameroon Link, COL partners intorduce themselves and the station manager tells a short story of Radio Atlantis

Zahir Koradia of Gram Vaani
From: camlink99 | Sep 30, 2011 |
In this video, Zahir Koradia from Gram Vanni in India talks about how to integrate mobiles into community learning programmes (CLPs). He exchanged with the 23 participants of the Commonwealth of Learning Healthy Communities Partners' workshop hosted by the Media Training Centre for Health in Cape Town from the 12th to 17th September, 2011. He shares through this video produced by Cameroon Link some experiences of case studies on the use of mobile applications, their strengths and weaknesses and how to use them most appropriately. He also mapped out a tool kit module which assists users to reach many people within communities at a time

Joke van Kampen on Story Design
From: camlink99 | Sep 29, 2011
This video shows an excerpt of the presentation by Joke van Kampen of Malawi Story workshop during the COL Healthy Community seminar organised at MTC Cape Town, South Africa from the 12th - 17th September, 2011. Joke emphasized that to master the issue and programme matrix, you have to go through all the steps yourself. This video was made by Cameroon Link for sharing.

Ian Pringle Presents CLP In Cape Town
From: camlink99 | Sep 28, 2011
During the COL Healthy Community Partners Workshop organised from the 12th - 18th September 2011 at the Media training Centre for Health in Cape Town, Ian Pringle, COL's Media Education Specialist and the key facilitator traced the path of Community Open Distance Learning and the policy of the Commonwealth of Learning. Cameroon Link was there and made this video for sharing. For more on the issue treated in this video, visit the COL web site at - http://www.col.org



Charles Simbi on the Bag of Life Programming in Malawi
From: camlink99 | Sep 26, 2011
Charles Simbi is one of the expert trainers of the Story Workshop Organisation in Malawi. Charles and Gladson facilitated the story design workshop which led to programming on mother and child health care on Lebialem Community Radio in Menji, in the south west region of Cameroon. The organisation of the COL Healthy Communities Partners workshop in Cape Town created room for a second come together for sharing of experiences on the impact of story design programmes on community radio stations in Africa. In this video, Charles Simbi shares the experience of the impact following broadcast of the "Bag of Life Programme" in Malawi. He emphasizes on the issue of the programme matrix to dig deep into the heart of issues facing any community, because this highlights shared responsibility in finding solutions to problems. For more on story design programming in Lebialem Community Radio, visit the web site at - http://cameroonlink.info or http://www.col.org

Blythe Mckay on M & E

From: camlink99 | Sep 23, 2011
Blythe Mckay is the Farm Radio International (FRI) Program and partnership manager. Farm Radio International is a Canadian-based, not-for-profit organisation working in direct partnership with over 325 radio broadcasters in 39 African countries to fight poverty and food insecurity. It is a strategic partner of Commonwealth of Learning and its mission is to support broadcasters in developing countries to strengthen smallholder farmers in rural communities. It was established over 30 years ago in response to the fact that farm radio broadcasters in the global south did not, for the most part, serve small-scale farmers.
Rather, they were geared toward large-scale commercial farmers - an audience with very different needs from the largely subsistence farmers that make up the large majority of the populations of these regions.
By producing and sharing radio scripts, a weekly news and information service, and other valuable resources with radio broadcasters, Farm Radio International is improving the relevance and quality and increases the quantity of farm radio programming of partner stations that, collectively, serve over 220 Million scale-scale farmers in Africa.
Blythe Mckay was invited to Cape Town, South Africa by the Commonwealth of Learning to share the FRI experience in Monitoring and Evaluation of its work with the African broadcasters during a COL Healthy Communities Partners workshop from 10th - 17th September 2011. FRI is serving over 51 community radio stations in Cameroon and this video was made for sharing by Cameroon Link. Cameroon Link is playing the role of FRI Focal Point in Cameroon. To get more about the work of Farm Radio International and Commonwealth of Learning, visit the following web sites - http://www.farmradio.org, http://www.col.org, http://cameroonlink.info

Sunday, September 25, 2011

COL Healthy Communities Partners Workshop In Cape Town




23 participants drawn from 14 Commonwealth countries ended a workshop on the expansion of healthy communities in their various countries and organizations within the action plan designed from 2012 - 2015. The countries invited were South Africa, Cameroon, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Bangladesh, India, Jamaica, Fiji, Solomon islands, Canada, United Kingdom and Namibia.
The Director of Media Training Centre for Health, Gail White at the opening of deliberations told participants that it was an honour for her organization to receive and host people from all regions of the world in beautiful and historic Cape Town, South Africa. She wished that the exchanges of experiences were going to assist in the expansion of the work of the various organizations in their countries.
The workshop ran from the 11th – 17th September, 2011 was stimulating and productive because a remarkable group of people and organizations, new and existing COL partners, groups focused on media, health/development and resource people in areas from research to mobile contributed in various ways in sharing their work and experiences.
Ian Pringle, the key facilitator and COL Media Education Specialist focused on the use of media for non-formal education about health and development, specifically community learning programmes that are local, collaborative and participatory. The use of radio along with face-to-face methods and increasingly mobiles was very resourceful means of developing Community Learning Programme agenda for amelioration of livelihoods
From 2009 – 2012, knowledge sharing has been focused on seminars on educational media, community learning programmes, connecting with the COL newsletter and web site. In capacity building, over 700 individuals were engaged in training, of which 40 per cent were women. There has been increased use of community Open Distance Learning by 48 community groups in 10 nations at regional and national levels.
Community Learning Programmes (CLP) has been realized in Belize, Jamaica, Cameroon, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Solomon Island. These programmes have been produced locally blended and multichannel, collaborative, participatory, story-based and low cost effective.
Community Radio Programmes are beginning to have wide coverage, consistent message, creative, engaging with delivery through one-way and one to many people options, while the face-t-face approach is two ways, collective, links to mobilization and has limited scale.
With the introduction of mobile technologies, the programmes are more interactive, one-to- many, one-to-one, wherever and whenever they are realized. The participants before departure from Cape Town agreed that community various groups have to be involved in programming that include Community networks, experts, policy makers and media.
Elements of participation are feedback, action, discussion, content and decision making. It all starts with making decisions on the programme. Grassroots networks are supportive through story and experiences-based strategy. This means getting to use smart people, because smart people learn from experience and smarter people learn from other people’s experience, Ian Pringle observed.
He emphasized on the fact, that it is low cost when we have dedicated people involved in the programme, field based recording, collaborative management, inputs to community media outlets and promotions. The revenue resources should be varied for sustainability.
Addressing COL’s 2012 – 2015 Healthy Communities initiatives and a proposed framework, Ian Pringle shared with the partners an insight, which they built on during the week. Teams of small group work were established to reflect on the necessary additions for consolidating the action plan. Ekta Mittal of Maraa, India and Blythe Mckay of Farm Radio International Canada talked about developing capacity building materials, an Online CLP toolkit and Distance training course on educational programme development were presented.
The framework and template of the online toolkit were shared based on team assignments, while the framework of the Farm Radio international distance course to be developed over a week in 2012 was presented by Blythe Mckay.
This was followed by a workshop stream on learning the CLP model step by step by Ian Pringle and Joke van Kampen of the Story workshop in Malawi. The main outcomes were the awareness and skills developed in key CLP tools and processes through hands-on use of methods and brainstorming on different steps in the programme development process and new ideas and initiatives were proposed for the different CLPs by each team.
There field trips to Atlantis Radio, Wine Testing Vine Yard region of southern Cape and historic Rubben Island just to name a few tourism and learning attractions. At Atlantis Radio, Commonwealth of Learning Partners were shown how local community radio stations in South Africa operate, how issues are chosen for discussion during programming and the relevance of listeners’ clubs.
To live the realities of the Commonwealth of Learning Healthy Communities Partners’ stay in Cape Town, South Africa, please visit web page at – http://uk.youtube.com/camlink99

Thursday, August 18, 2011

SCALING UP COMMONWEALTH OF LEARNING IN CAMEROON




By Helen Ayamba Egbe
Emal: helenayamba@yahoo.com
Discussions on scaling up the Commonwealth of Learning in Cameroon have opened with the National Focal Point, Professor Ivo Leke Tambo, according to Canal 2 Tv International. In an interview, Professor Tambo highlighted how far COL activities have evolved in Cameroon since 2003 and action that has taken place since he was appointed by the Prime Minister. In the interview, Prof. Tambo also explained what Commonwealth means to Cameroonians.
Professor Leke Tambo was appointed by the Prime Minister in 2006 and since then the Commonwealth of Learning has worked with many ministries and organised groups. He added, that it was judged important to have a national focal point that could help to coordinate the various activities of the Commonwealth of Learning in Cameroon. With the setting up of the Commonwealth of Learning, the agency was considered as an instrument put in place by the 54 governments of the Commonwealth family to promote especially Open Distance Learning, Information and communication Technology as far as it is applied to education for sustaining development and livelihood growth of members of the groups and individuals in the member countries.
Before 2006, the Commonwealth of Learning was a consultant for organizing a national workshop on Open Distance Learning in Cameroon with the technical support of the Ministry of Higher Education in 2003. It was during the workshop that the recommendations were made at the end for Open Distance Learning to be introduced in Cameroon. Before the 2003 workshop, the Commonwealth of Learning had been working with the University of Dschang in the programs of Agriculture and the lead person was Professor Ajanganji. University of Dschang initiated programs in agriculture and various areas.
When Professor Ivo Leke Tambo was appointed in 2006 as the focal point, a major problem arose when the different ministries started writing to the Commonwealth requesting for the creation of Open Distance Learning possibilities in their sectors in Cameroon. When the mails requesting the establishing of Open University were received at the Commonwealth of Learning, the reply was that the government had first to implement the workshop recommendations made in 2003, which stated that to insure that Open Distance Learning goes on smoothly in the country, a legal framework to facilitates the introduction must be put in place. The legal frame needed to answer questions on what modules that Cameroon wants to implement and whether the Open University will take a module of the formal university by running face to face programs and at the same time having groups as students who are outside learning setting, by using the distance model? The document needed to say what people want to do? What the role of other partners would be and who wants to intervene? Another major problem was on how quality of the learning process and certification was to be assured?
All of these issues had to be addressed for the harmonization of diplomas and their recognition, because we know in Open Distance Learning, there are some degree mills, where some institutions issue junk degrees. What these institutions do is that they receive money in exchange of degrees created from their Lap tops. They even produce Masters or P.HD degrees without the persons going through any educational institution. These are degree mills and it is the role of the government to check against these malpractices and insuring that these types of things do not happen in Cameroon. That is why it is necessary to develop a legal framework and this has been realized through the support of the Commonwealth of Learning. A local consultant, Professor Ajanganji was recruited to work with the Commonwealth of Learning and the university concern to produce a framework document and a draft decree for introducing Open Distance Learning in Cameroon. The document was forwarded to hierarchy and everybody is waiting for it to be signed before it becomes effective.
The next other program done in Cameroon with the assistance of the Commonwealth of Learning, concerns the introduction of Open School in Cameroon. The operational document and developed programs for introducing Open School in the Ministries concerned with Education have been prepared. This document is also with hierarchy and everybody is waiting and expecting the reaction of the government, because this document takes care of non-formal education. Thus with the Open School modules, Professor Leke Tambo emphasizes that, people who have abandoned school for one reason or the other at different levels, can come back and learn at their pace and at their own time. When the document would have been signed, it is going to help a lot to regulate non formal education.
The University of Dschang has been running a program in agriculture and other areas. This is in many ways considered as a non formal program. At the University of Buea, they introduced through the support of the Commonwealth of Learning, a program in teacher education by distance, which is functioning in the 10 regions of Cameroon.
To do this, Professor Leke Tambo and others received training from Quebec and later from the Open University in Lagos, Nigeria. Although he spent about two weeks with the Open University in Lagos, and even with the other institution in Quebec before moving to China with Beijing University, these travels helped for designing the Cameroon program, which is non formal in several ways because it has taken into consideration the teacher who is in the field and preparing for a Bachelors degree and other programs.
Cameroon is looking forward to the first batch of the program graduating and the national focal point of the Commonwealth of Learning sees this as part of the major programs involving universities. Talking about the visit of Ian Pringle to Cameroon, he said the media specialist has not been very long in the Commonwealth of Learning, and the first thing will be that he is able to access the situation as far as the introduction and the use of media in education and in the different sectors of education is concerned in Cameroon. Cameroon expects that he would be able to evaluate the situation about where the country is and he would be able to inform the Commonwealth of Learning on the level at which activities are in Cameroon. Ian Pringle should be able to say after Cameroon’s evaluation whether the people are sleeping or not in relation to the rest of the other countries of the Commonwealth.
If we are making progress, Prof. Leke Tambo said, the COL Media Specialist might be able to tell Cameroon where and how to move forward following his visit. He mentioned in the interview that he was very proud to receive a very good report from Mr. James Achanyi Fontem, who he considers as the engine of the pilot program in Lebialem of the south west region of Cameroon. He noted from the report, how many people were able to be mobilized within the communities in a very short time and the high quality of the participants. Professor Leke Tambo already responded after reading through the report and wrote a letter of appreciation of the efforts to introduce the radio story design programming on Lebialem Community Radio in Menji.
The national focal point observed that it is a very good program, especially as it is using community radio for educating populations on Mother and Child Health Care. This is a COL Healthy Community Initiative and his wish is that sustainability should be built into the program, because very often we have seen in some cases, the Commonwealth of Learning comes in, or any other organization comes in and gives support for a period of time and when they withdraw, the activities collapse. Sustainability might be the concern of COL programs as well as impact and its potentials, since the quality of people who are involved on the ground count for a very good future like in the Lebialem media pilot program.
COL Gender Mainstreaming
Speaking generally about gender mainstreaming, according to Professor Tambo, it is not just the Commonwealth of Learning concerned about these issues. All international programs like those supported by the World Bank and other kinds of donors emphasize the role of gender main streaming in all programs, because we cannot continue to act, behave and work as if there is only one sex in Cameroon. There must be sex balance in programming. When there is sex balance, he believes, in many ways the country will advance, because as it is often said, one part of the body cannot move leaving another part behind. All parts of the body must walk together, as far as this matter is concerned in Cameroon.
At the level of the State, His Excellency, President Paul Biya, the President of the Republic of Cameroon, has been able to encourage Gender mainstreaming and scaling by appointments of women to ministerial positions. Many more women than ever before are holding cabinet positions in Cameroon. Others are holding positions of Senior Executive in government, Corporations and the private sectors.
With this, Professor Tambo thinks scaling up the pilot problem in Cameroon should emphasize on gender main streaming. The gender mainstreaming project in Cameroon is moving very well. We have seen women commanding in the army, giving instructions and men move. More and more of such progress are coming. Professor Tambo believes that Cameroon is in the right track as far as gender is concerned. We may not be moving as fast as some people think, but a lot is going on, he concluded.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cameroon’s Malaria Campaign Enters High Gear




By James Achanyi-Fontem
Email: camlink99@gmail.com
Cameroon is currently participating in the scaling up malaria prevention for impact, within the Global Fund Round 9 Program. To achieve this, the Cameroon national malaria program launched a vast training workshop in all ten regions of the country with the involvement of Health District Medical Staff, civil society organisations (CSO) and community based organisations (CBO.
In the littoral region, where the head office of Cameroon Link is implanted, Dr. Fondjo Etienne, Sibetcheu Daniel, Biyik and Dr. Noufack Gertrude Bita, were charged as central supervisors with Dr. Bita Fouda as the general supervisor of the training in Douala, economic capital of Cameroon to scale up the program in the littoral.
During the training, Dr. Fondjio Etienne, videoed on camlink99 YouTube said, 8.654.731 long duration impregnated mosquito nets will be distributed from August 20, 2011 within 6 days throughout the national territory at the same time. The official launching of the national campaign to kick out mosquitoes from communities will be launched by the Head of state, President Paul Biya.
The training organized throughout Cameroon aims at informing, educating, communicating and sharing experiences on how the scaling up strategies could be effected without any hitch. Regional facilitators and supervisors have been trained and it was the turn of the leaders of the Civil Society Organisations and Community Based Organisations to capacitate them on the message to take to the populations within communities during the campaign.
The first phase will consist of counting the beneficiaries of the impregnated mosquito nets of long duration, to document the number of vouchers that will be distributed in exchange of the nets when the time comes. In affect, all households will be visited by persons recruited as social mobilizers and and registers during the campaign. Officially opening the training in Douala, Dr. Bita Fouda told the participants that the campaign must be of high quality, since all development target groups have been associated to the exercise on the field. This video has been brought to you by Cameroon Link for sharing,because this is the largest and most expensive malaria campaign that Cameroon has ever had. Cameroon Link was selected as the Civil Society Organisation to monitor the campaign in the Health District of Bonasssama supervised by Dr. Nzima Nzima Valery.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

ATELIER NATIONAL ARRPA SE TENUE A DOUALA, CAMEROUN





Par Helen Ayamba
La Chargée de Communication, Cameroon Link
Email : helenayamba@yahoo.com
Un séminaire national de deux jours consacré à la restitution et validation de L’étude réalisée dans le cadre du Programme d'Analyse des Radios Rurales Africaines (ARRPA), s'est tenu au siège de Cameroon Link à la nouvelle route de Bonaberi- Douala le 08 et 09 ju111et, 2011. Le Programme d'analyse des radios rurales africaines est une nouvelle initiative de recherche de Farm Radio Internationale (Radios Rurale Internationales) Canada.
Le projet s'interroge à savoir comment la programmation d'émission de radio se fait dans les stations de radios rurales africaines et si ces émissions notamment agricoles répondent aux besoins des auditeurs-agriculteurs qui les écoutent. Les radiodiffuseurs ruraux et Radios Rurales Internationales pourront utiliser les informations recueillaient comme outil d'apprentissage et d'amélioration des services.
Au moment où les nouvelles technologies sans fils et notamment internet haut débit gagnent le monde aujourd'hui, la rad1o est toujours perçue comme l’un des outils de communication les plus importants en matière de transmission des informations aux pauvres ruraux notamment en Afrique.
La radio est populaire, permet d'atteindre un public très large a un cout très réduit. Les agricu1teurs s'informent et se divertissent dans leur propre langue sans nécessairement être à mesure de lire I ‘anglais ou le français. Au cours de la décennie écoulée, il y a eu une forte explosion sur le nombre de stations rad1os en Afrique en général et au Cameroun en particulier.
Les nouvelles techniques comme émissions interactive et émissions publiques font de la radio un media vivant qui offre une vraie voix aux agriculteurs. Cependant, L’efficacité de la radio dans la promotion de la sécurité alimentaire n'a pas encore été analysé formellement, pourtant il y a beaucoup à gagner dans le partage et la reconnaissance des meilleures.
Ceci explique le but de cet atelier national consacre au partage d'expériences d'abord entre les cinq radios camerounaises et des quatre autre pays impliqués dans le projet.
Pour ce projet, Farm Radio International travaille avec quatre ou cinq différentes stations dans chacun des 5 cinq pays dont le Cameroun, le Malawi, le Kenya, le Ghana et laTanzanie. Cette recherche générera une vue d'ensemble des différentes méthodes de production d'émissions.
L 'organisationNon Gouvernementale canadienne a engagé des chercheurs dans chaque pays pour faire ce travail. Ces chercheurs ont échangés avec les employés et les auditeurs de chaque station pour savoir comment la radio rurale sert son auditoire et quelles ressources sont nécessaires pour produire des émissions de radio rurale de qualité. Les participants à I ‘atelier de Douala au Cameroun sont venus des stations radios cibles de l’étude au a savoir CRTV Littoral à Douala, Radio Baré Bakem, Lebialem Community Radio, Radio Yemba et Radio Medumba, mais aussi des groupes d'agriculteurs et les techniciens spécialisés en production agricole.

Comment améliorer les émissions afin de mieux servir les agriculteurs ?

Les radiodiffuseurs doivent :
 Améliorer la qualité de réception et voix des programmes
 Une bonne recherche doit être faite et les radiodiffuseurs doivent inviter les experts et les planteurs à participer aux émissions.
 Les radiodiffuseurs doivent développer les talents de conception pour renforcer leur personnalité qui est quarante de la confiance.

Les Rôles et actions des organisations internationales comme FRI et CTA pour l’amélioration d’émissions agro-pastorales :
 Renforcement des capacités des animateurs de radio.
 Appuis en équipements techniques modernes de production
 Nominer et primer chaque année les bonnes productions
Ce que les organisations national, la société civile, éducateurs et encadreurs, et le gouvernement doivent faire pour améliorer les émissions agricoles afin de mieux servir les agriculteurs :
 Le Ministère de l’Agriculture et Développement Rurale (MINADER) doit signer les conventions de partenariat avec les radios pour la production et diffusion des émissions agricoles.
 Les éducateurs doivent mettre leur expertise et leur disponibilité au service des radios à travers leurs interventions sur les antennes et le renforcement des capacités des producteurs des émissions agricoles.
 Les organisations de la société civile en charge des questions agricole et les agriculteurs doivent devenir des partenaires privilégiés des radios.
 Les agriculteurs doivent faire connaitre leurs problèmes et partager leurs expériences dans les émissions.
Il y a eu 16 participants venant de :Cameroon Radio Television (Radio Douala) Radio Yemba, Radio Medumba, Radio Baré Bakem, Lebialem Community Radio, Radio Batcham, Caring for Women, FFF Cameroon, Association CUB Nju Communication, Canal 2 Tv International, Sweet FM et Cameroon Link. Les activités de cette atelier ont bénéficié une très large couverture médiatique au Cameroun sur les chaines de radios et télévisions nationale et indépendent.
L’atelier était facilité par Meli Rostand de Radio Batcham sur la supervision du Coordinateur de l’ARRPA pour le Cameroun, James Achanyi-Fontem. Pour voir les vidéo sur l’atelier, allez à- http://www.youtube.com/camlink99

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cameroon Link Shares COL Experiences on Lebialem Community Radio Story Design


Cameroon Link Shares Experiences on Lebialem Community Radio Story Design
By Ayamba Helen Egbe, COL Camlink News
Email: helenayamba@yahoo.com

Cameroon Link has shared experiences on how Lebialem Community Radio, LCR, in Menji is used as a tool for promoting health open distance learning through high quality story design programming with the national focal point, Prof. Ivo Leke Tambo. Prof. Tambo received the Liaison person of the COL Cameroon Link Partnership, James Achanyi-Fontem, on June 7, 2011 at the Secretariat General of the Ministry of Secondary Education. He informed Prof. Tambo that the theme of the COL Lebialem programme piloted by Cameroon Link is on “Mother and Child Health Care Promotion” and at the end of the pilot phase in November 2011, the use of ICTs and Community Media for Open Distance Learning is expected to be scaled up at national level to create opportunities for execution of similar programmes in other regions of Cameroon. He reliably informed the focal point that the Media Action Commonwealth of Learning Programme is supervised by the International Coordinator of the Media Development Unit of COL, Ian Pringle, based in Vancouver, Canada.
Discussions on scaling up the programme at national level started already with the Commonwealth of Learning Focal Point for Cameroon, Professor Ivo Leka Tambo, who doubles as the Secretary General at the Ministry of secondary education promising to update the government through the Prime Minister on the evolution of activities and the possible visit of Ian Pringle in Cameroon next September 2011 . Local broadcasters have been trained by COL facilitators from Malawi, Charles Simbi and Gladson Makowa , on the conception of story design programmes and how to get the listeners involved in the production process on weekly basis.
During the exchange of experiences last May 28, 2011 with Dominique Konji Konji , who has conducted a research on the knowledge, attitudes and practices on immunization and tuberculosis , he provided insights on the vision of health in Cameroon by the year 2035. Some of the issues discussed with Konji Konji were highlighted for inclusion in the COL media action scaling up programme proposal.
On the 7th June 2011, the COL Camlink liaison person, James Achanyi-Fontem, handed over a copy of the mid-term report of activities in Lebialem to Professor Tambo, discussed the follow up of activities and the proposal for scaling up activities nationwide with the involvement of the national education ministries of basic and secondary education, the eminent visit of the International Coordinator of COL Open Distance Media Development Unit based in Vancouver, Canada, Ian Pringle, in September, the possibility of Cameroon sharing its experiences during the forthcoming 7th Pan Commonwealth of Learning Forum slated in South Africa in September and the participation as guest of Professor Leke Tambo in a planned special national television production to highlight activities of Commonwealth of Learning in Cameroon since the 24th August,2006, when he was appointed by the Prime Minister and Head of Government of Cameroon as COL Focal Point, in addition to his administrative function as the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Secondary Education.
Addressing issues raised during the audience, he praised the efforts of Cameroon Link and Lebialem Community Radio for the valued amount of work realized by within a short space of time in the context of the current COOL partnership. He added that the COL Media Development action in Lebialem is a good initiative that needs to be copied and that he is very ready to support the scaling up at national level in Cameroon. The Prime Minister needs to be informed of the work done, he added.
Prof. Leke Tambo observed that Cameroon will be very delighted to receive Ian Pringle in Lebialem, Cameroon in September 2011, as he cautioned that preparation should start now and that local authorities in Menji, should be informed and sensitized for mobilisation of the different actors, because September is the heart of the rainy season in that part of the region of Cameroon. On the special COL Cameroon televised programme of activities, he advised that this should happen before July or from the third week of August 2011, because these periods are very busy for release of academic results in Cameroon and preparation of a new academic year in Cameroon.
He concluded by promising to write his recommendation after going through the content of the mid-term report COL Media Open Distance Learning using Lebialem Community Radio as the delivery medium. For more on the Cameroon Health Vision by 2035, click on “BCH”

Cameroon Link At Ethiopian International Writers Conference




James Achanyi-Fontem,
CEO Cameroon Link

President, Cameroon Writers Association
Email: camlink99@gmail.com
Afutendem Lucas Nkwetta of University of Dschang, in the west region of Cameroon sat in for Cameroon Link, pilot of the Cameroon Writers Association,CWA, during the International Conference of African Writers held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in May, 2011. The central goal of the conference was to invigorate the minds of African youths and to instigate African writers to bring forth ideas and experiences stored in their minds so that they may share it with the youth of Africa for contributing original ideas to facilitate the growth and development of the continent.
The Conference has brought together prominent and renowned literary men and women of Africa together and the Conference organizers wanted to ensure that the African spirit of indomitability is extended to bringing cultural, popular, intellectual, and economic unity to Africa’s rich, diverse and large continent.
The Conference was designed with the promising hope that the views and visions that the distinguished guests took to the conference in Addis Ababa will throw more light into the minds of Africans to cultivate positive and rewarding conceptualizations of self.
The Conference was organized by a Steering Committee consisting of the Ethiopian Writers Association, the Secretary General of the Academy of the Ethiopian Languages and Cultures, and the Director of the Institute of African Studies of the Addis Ababa University. The Organizing Committee
was given the responsibility to take care of all the nitty gritty details and logistics of making the Conference successful. In order to accomplish its tasks, it organized itself into five Activating Committees caring for Logistics, Fundraising, Communications, Publications and Programming.
Like all big ventures, the main problem was getting in touch with participants, and getting the necessary funding to run the Conference. It was finally possible to contact the General Secretary of PAWA (Pan-African Writers Association), Prof. AtukweiOkai in Accra, Ghana and together, they succeeded in bringing together a wonderful group of distinguished participants, who presented more than forty papers in two days from May 2-4, 2011.
The major areas covered by the papers are African Literature, African Languages, and African Politics, Culture and Philosophy. The ideas expressed in the various papers were reported to have fulfilled the main goal of the Conference as indicated above. Participants hoped that such Conferences will continue at reasonable intervals so that they may bear fruits, and that African ideas may be able to serve as a source of solutions for most of the ills and problems that plague our global village and our continent. Throughout their stay in Ethiopia, the conference participants gave careful thought on how to further follow up and resolve the continent’s issues and different African Writers Associations were tasked to expand the fraternal spirit in the different countries.
This Conference would not have been possible without the support and encouragement of higher Government Officials, including the President of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia, H.E. President GirmaWolde-Giorgis who received the conference guests in a presidential dinner, Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia, H.E. Ato. MelesZenawi, Mayor of Addis Ababa, H.E. Ato. KumaDemeksa, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Education, Federal Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, the Government Communications Office Minister, H.E. Ato. Bereket Simeon and all Federal Regional Government State Offices. Also, this Conference would not have been possible without the financial support received from Sheik Mohammed Alamud in, Ethiopian Airlines, Ethiopian Shipping Lines, Ethiopian Development Bank, Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, and Prince Beide Mariam Mekonnnen (Wabe Shebelle Hotel). The organizers of the international conference have expressed thanks ang gratitude to the following institutions of higher education: Addis Ababa University, Axum University, Bahir Dar University, Dilla University, Haromaya University, Hawasa University, Gondar University, Jijiga University, Mekelle University and Jimma University for their support in organizing a nationwide cultural and university tour for the participants who came from all over Africa including Cameroon.
The following institutions were also an invaluable support to the organization: AIDS Resources Center, MGTour and Travel, Awash Bank, Abay Bank, Abyssinia Bank, Ethiopian Postal Services and NOC. Ethiopia has several branches of Writers Association for national work and cooperation.
The Cameroon Writers Association through Cameroon Link expresses sincere thanks and gratitude to their fraternal brothers and sisters of the Pan African Writers Association, PAWA, piloted by Professor AtukweiOkai in Accra, Ghana and the Ethiopian Writers Association of Dr. AwolEndris and SefanitMesfin for extending an invitation to Cameroon through the Cameroon Writers Association and Cameroon Link.

Cameroon Link Engaged for Scaling up Malaria for Impact



The Health District of Bonassama in the littoral region of Cameroon published its results for the selection of a civil society organizations(CSO) and community based organizations (CBO) to scale up malaria for impact on the 30th May 2011. Cameroon Link tops the list of six civil society organizations with a 100% score, followed by COGESID Baobab with 69% and Organisation Nationale de Droit de l’Homme (ONDH) scoring 50%. Three of organization GIC Maranatha, Jeunes Dynamiques (JEDY) and Association des Jeunes pour le Développement de Ilongue/Malimba(AJDIM) were disqualified from the race as not belonging or operating in the health district of Bonassama.
The selection was endorsed by the head of Bonassama Health District, Dr. Nzima Nzima Valery, 2nd Deputy Mayor of Douala IV, Manbagap Paul and the chair of the health district committee, Diboa Samuel. As concerns the community based organizations, 110 candidates went in for the selection test and only 99 quqlified. According to Dr. Nzima Nzima, the territory covered by the health district of Bonassama is using 110 CBOs, meaning 11 community based organizations need to be deployed for a full outreach of the population of the district.
Bonassama Health District is comprised of 11 health ares: Bonassama, Bonamikano, Nkomba, Mambanda, Bilingue, Ngwele, Bonendale, Bojongo, Djebale, Sodiko and Grand Hangar. The President of Cameroon Link; James Achanyi-Fontem, has explored issues that motivate the participation of his organization in the Global Fund Programme piloted by Plan Cameroon. Read about the burden of Malaria in pregnancy in Malaria-Endemic areas below:

The Burden of Malaria in Pregnancy in Malaria-Endemic Areas
By James Achanyi-Fontem,
CEO, Cameroon Link
Email: camlink99@gmail.com


Pregnant women in malarious areas may experience a variety of adverse consequences from malaria infection including maternal anemia, placental accumulation of parasites, low birth weight (LBW) from prematurity and intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR), fetal parasite exposure and congenital infection, and infant mortality (IM) linked to preterm-LBW and IUGR-LBW. Between 1985 and 2000, studies were and the malaria population attributable risk (PAR) that accounts for both the prevalence of the risk factors in the population and the magnitude of the associated risk for anemia, LBW, and IM was summarized. Consequences from anemia and human immunodeficiency virus infection in these studies were also considered. Population attributable risks were substantial: malaria was associated with anemia (PAR range = 3–15%), LBW (8–14%), preterm-LBW (8–36%), IUGR-LBW (13–70%), and IM (3–8%). Human immunodeficiency virus was associated with anemia (PAR range = 12–14%), LBW (11–38%), and direct transmission in 20–40% of newborns, with direct mortality consequences. Maternal anemia was associated with LBW (PAR range = 7–18%), and fetal anemia was associated with increased IM (PAR not available). It is estimated that each year 75,000 to 200,000 infant deaths are associated with malaria infection in pregnancy. The failure to apply known effective antimalarial interventions through antenatal programs continues to contribute substantially to infant deaths globally.
The problem of malaria infection in pregnant women was initially described nearly 65 years ago.1 Descriptive studies in sub-Saharan Africa from the 1950s through 1984 focused on Plasmodium falciparum infections and described the frequency of placental infection and specific adverse consequences.2–7 Relatively few population-based studies have been reported from Asia or the Americas, and where studies do exist, most have focused on high-transmission areas and infections with P. falciparum.8 Infection rates have been consistently demonstrated to be highest in women in their first and second pregnancies, with lower rates in later pregnancies.8–20 Because of high rates of parasitemia in pregnancy, particularly in many settings in sub-Saharan Africa, the World Health Organization has recommended presumptive malarial treatment followed by additional prevention measures during pregnancy.11
Plasmodium falciparum infection in pregnancy leads to parasite sequestration in the maternal placental vascular space, with consequent maternal anemia7, 12, 13 and infant low birth weight (LBW)8–10, 14–17 due to both prematurity15, 17 and intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR);8, 14, 15, 17 LBW is known to be the most important risk factor for infant mortality.18, 19 Anemia, undernutrition, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection are also common events in malarious areas and contribute to LBW. Malaria infection in pregnancy may lead to anemia in pregnancy, and HIV infection in pregnancy confers additional risk for higher frequency and higher density of malaria during pregnancy;20 thus, these conditions are integrally linked, and P. falciparum is not the only cause of LBW in these malaria-endemic settings.18 Low birth weight is also associated with newborn gender (more common in girls), maternal stature (more common in shorter and smaller women), and birth order (more common in first or low-birth-order pregnancies); however, these characteristics cannot be changed and are not amenable to interventions once a pregnancy has begun.
In the next year, an estimated more than 50 million pregnancies will occur in malaria-endemic areas, and approximately half of these will be in sub-Saharan Africa, where P. falciparum transmission is most intense.21 To assess the magnitude of the burden of malaria in pregnancy and its contribution to infant mortality, data from published and unpublished studies during the last 15 yr (1985–2000) and focused on sub-Saharan Africa was evaluated. This was where data are most available, because of the multiple pathways for the chain of events between maternal malaria infection and infant mortality. Experts specifically sought studies that evaluated malaria, anemia, and HIV infection and their contribution to low birth weight and potentially to infant mortality. There is a paucity of population-based data on malaria in pregnancy in settings of low malaria endemicity. Because malaria exposure in pregnancy is much less common in these lower-endemicity settings and may be caused by nonfalciparum species, which are thought to have less impact on the pregnancy, the burden of malaria in pregnancy in these other settings is likely to be relatively lower. However, because of our focus on the higher-endemicity settings, the estimates obtained from our review likely underestimate the total global burden of malaria infection in pregnancy.
Methods
Studies were reviewed and reported between 1985 and 2000 in which information was available on malaria infection in pregnancy; associated conditions (e.g., anemia, HIV infection); and/or adverse outcomes of pregnancy, including low birth weight, prematurity, and infant mortality. Medical specialists conducted a literature search using MEDLINE, cross-referencing the following terms: 1) malaria or falciparum malaria, 2) pregnancy, pregnancy complications, or pregnancy complications infectious, 3) HIV or HIV-1, and 4) anemia. For the designated years of 1985–2000, this review yielded 789 articles for categories 1+2 (malaria and pregnancy), 55 articles for categories 1+2+3, 98 articles for categories 1+2+4, and 15 articles for categories 1+2+3+4. Only articles written in English were reviewed. Because the search did not identify certain articles that were known to the researchers, who used references from selected articles to identify additional published literature for review. They also reviewed unpublished data from large studies for which published information was not yet available in countries like Mali and Kenya.
To be considered for incorporation in the final review, articles had to provide information on the frequency or prevalence of outcomes and risk factors and information on risk estimates, preferably from multivariate analysis for associations between multiple purported risk factors and outcomes. They focused on outcomes of maternal malaria infection (peripheral or placental infection), maternal anemia, LBW, preterm-LBW, IUGR-LBW, and infant mortality. When possible, they examined the contributions of P. falciparum malaria, anemia, and HIV to these adverse outcomes, both because each condition likely affects the others and because the evaluation allowed for relative comparisons of their impact on infant mortality, either directly (with HIV infection in the newborn) or through the contribution to preterm-LBW or IUGR-LBW. Maternal malaria infection and anemia were considered as risk factors and as outcomes in these analyses, because HIV may contribute to increased risk for malaria and malaria may contribute to increased risk of anemia. Only 2 study settings reported on estimates of the full sequence of events (e.g., malaria → BW → infant mortality) however, because the infant mortality risk associated with LBW is described in a variety of populations around the world, it was assumed that contributors to LBW were linked to subsequent infant mortality.
Finally, the researchers evaluated studies of interventions and the estimates of efficacy for interventions, examining the impact of ‘‘failing to use existing effective interventions’’ as a risk factor for the burden of malaria, LBW, and infant mortality. Because malaria prevention in pregnancy is not widely implemented and because few studies report on the actual implementation of interventions, it was assumed that the prevalence of the risk factor (i.e., ‘‘not receiving the intervention’’) was 90% in the populations.
Results
A total of 34 reports were considered for this review .These reports came from 25 investigations in 8 sub-Saharan African countries (Kenya = 6 investigations; Malawi = 5; Tanzania = 3; Gambia = 2; Burkina Faso = 1; Cameroon = 1; Mali = 1; Mozambique = 1; and Uganda = 1) and 2 non-African settings (Papua New Guinea = 2 investigations; Thailand = 2). The study group sizes ranged from 159 to greater than 10,000 persons, and endemicity varied as seen by variations in maternal parasitemia rates between 6% in urban Mozambique and 65% in Tanzania. Additionally, the categorization of variables ranged widely, as demonstrated by the variable criteria for anemia (any, mild or moderate, or severe). Finally, 12 studies were largely observational but may have reported on the effect of interventions, whereas 13 studies involved intervention trials.
Malaria
Plasmodium falciparum malaria in pregnancy appeared to contribute to anemia and LBW through both preterm-LBW and IUGR-LBW in a relatively consistent fashion across different studies and settings. The prevalence of malaria infection in pregnancy ranged from approximately 10% to 65% across the settings where these associations were observed. The prevalence of the conditions of severe anemia, LBW, preterm-LBW, and IUGR-LBW; the risk estimates from various studies; and the PAR for malaria’s contribution to these conditions are high. Estimates of malaria’s contribution to LBW were modest and consistent across studies—accounting for approximately 8–14% of LBW and IUGR-LBW and approximately 8–36% of preterm LBW.
From 2 studies, maternal malaria was estimated to contribute to 3–8% of infant mortality. One study47 provided a much higher PAR estimate (30%) for infant mortality caused by maternal malaria infection, but this was an ecologic comparison between very different communities, and unmeasured contributions to infant mortality may have biased this estimate.
Anemia
Maternal anemia during pregnancy, associated with maternal malaria or many other causes, ranged in prevalence from 2–30% (based on differing cutoffs for hemoglobin levels; Maternal anemia appears to contribute to a PAR ranging from 7% to 18% for LBW and less than 48% for IUGR-LBW. Published studies did not describe relative contributions to preterm-LBW, and one indirect estimate suggested that maternal anemia may contribute to approximately one-fourth of infant mortality. Summary associations and population attributable risk (PAR) estimates for anemia in pregnant women and its contribution to low birth weight (LBW) attributable to preterm delivery or intrauterine
HIV
Maternal HIV infection has been shown to contribute to maternal malaria, maternal anemia, LBW, and direct infection of the newborn infant, which currently is 100% fatal. The prevalence of maternal HIV infection in areas where maternal malaria studies have been reported has ranged from 3% to 27%. HIV is estimated to contribute to malaria infection in pregnancy (PAR = 10–27%), maternal anemia (PAR = 12–15%), and LBW (PAR = 11–38%). Because HIV infection of the newborn is fatal, the contribution of HIV to infant mortality may reach or exceed 50% in some settings with high rates of maternal HIV infection and high rates of mother-to-infant HIV transmission.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cameroon Link shares COL Lebialem Experiences with BCH Africa




By Prisca Ngeryi, camlink
On the invitation of the NGO “Building Capacities for Better Health in Africa, (BCH Africa), led by Dominique Kondji Konji, Cameroon Link shared the experiences of the Commonwealth of Learning, COL , Programme in Lebialem Division, in the south west region of Cameroon last May 28, 2011. BCH Africa is a national health and non-governmental organization founded in 2001 through an initiative of a group of persons working in various fields of community socio-economic development and who are willing to increase public awareness on health related issues and to empower communities through training and development of communication within the frame work of the national health policy and strategy defined by the Cameroon government.
Cameroon Link shared experiences on how Lebialem Community Radio, LCR, in Menji is used as a tool for health open distance learning through high quality story design programming. The theme of the COL Lebialem programme piloted by Cameroon Link is “Mother and Child Health Care Promotion”. At the end of the pilot phase in November 2011, the use of ICTs and Community Media for open distance learning will be scaled up at national level to create opportunities for execution of similar programmes across the territory of Cameroon in other regions. The Commonwealth of Learning Programme is supervised by the International Coordinator of the Media Development arm of COL, Ian Pringle, based in Vancouver, Canada.
Discussions on scaling up the programme at national level have started already with the Commonwealth of Learning Focal Point for Cameroon, Professor Ivo Leka Tambo, who doubles as the Secretary General at the Ministry of secondary education. Local broadcasters have been trained by COL facilitators from Malawi, Charles Simbi and Gladson Makowa , on how to conceive story design programmes and get the listeners involved in their production on weekly basis.
Duringt he exchange of experiences last May 28, 2011, Dominique Konji Konji , who has conducted research on the knowledge, attitudes and practices on immunization and tuberculosis provided insights on the vision of health in Cameroon up to the year 2035.
On the 7th June 2011, the Commonwelath of Learning national focal point for Cameroon, Professor Ivo Leke Tambo received in audience the Coordinator of the COL Cameroon Link Partnership Programme in Lebialem. During the audience, the COL Camlink liaison person, James Achanyi-Fontem, handed over a copy of the mid-term report of activities in Lebialem to Professor Tambo, discussed the follow up of activities in Lebialem and the proposal for scaling up activities nationwide with the involvement of the national education ministries of basic and secondary education, the eminent visit of the International Coordinator of COL Open Distance Media Development programme based in Vancouver, Canada, Ian Pringle, in September 2011,the possibility of Cameroon sharing its experiences during the forthcoming 7th Pan Commonwealth of Learning Forum slated in South Africa in September 2011 and the participation of Professor Leke Tambo in a special television production to highlight activities of Commonwealth of Learning in Cameroon since the 24th August,2006, when he was appointed by the Prime Minister and Head of Government of Cameroon in addition to his function as the Permanent Secretary at the Cameroon Ministry of Secondary Education.
Addressing issues raised during the audience, he started by lauding the amount of work realized by Cameroon Link and Lebialem Community Radio within the context of the current COOL partnership and added that it was a good example to copy and that he is very ready to support the scaling up at national level in Cameroon.
Prof. Leke Tambo remarked that Cameroon will be very delighted to receive Ian Pringle in Lebialem, Cameroon in September 2011, while cautioning that preparation should start now and that local authorities in Menji, should be informed and sensitized for mobilisation of the different actors, especially as September is the heart of the rainy season in that part of the region of Cameroon.
On the special COL Cameroon televised programme of activities, he advised that this should happen before July or from the third week of August 2011, because these period are very busy for preparation of the new academic year in Cameroon.
He concluded by promising to write on the report submitted and issues discussed after going through its content. To read more on the vision of health in Cameroon by the year 2035, click on the following link - http://cameroonlink.info/pages/partners.html. While on the page, click on BCH in colour at the end of the article to access the full presnetation by Konji Konji Dominique.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

CAMEROON LINK SHARES COL ACTIVITIES IN LEBIALEM


By Helen Egbe Ayamba,
Cameroon Link
Email: camlink99@gmail.com

The Regional Director of Cameroon Radio Television, CRTV Littoral, Serge Ngando Ntone, has lauded the opportunity given by the COL Cameroon Link Partnership Liaison to media men and women of the Cameroon Association of English Speaking Journalists, CAMASEJ, to learn about the activities of the Commonwealth of Learning.
Serge Ngando Ntone was speaking during a one day workshop at the conference hall of CRTV Littoral in Douala on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day 2011.The COL Cameroon Link Partnership Liaison, James Achanyi-Fontem, shared the experiences and content of the on-going Commonwealth of Learning pilot programme in Lebialem, south west region of Cameroon and how it is impacting behavior change and communication with the communities there.
Patricia Oben, National President of CAMASEJ, told the participants at the sharing workshop, that it was a great opportunity to learn and discuss about COL activities, especially as Cameroon is one of the 54 member-states of the Commonwealth. She invited members to make good use of the information relayed by the COL Cameroon Link Liaison person, who he described as a veteran journalist and broadcaster, who remains an example to be copied.
The theme of the workshop was centred on the use of 21st Century communication tools for informing and educating communities within the scope of Open Distance Learning, ODL. The workshop facilitator told media men and women in Cameroon that Commonwealth of Learning is coordinated from Vancouver, Canada and that it provides a wealth of services and collaborative opportunities for policy makers, institutions and distance education practitioners to encourage the development of, and help enhance, the use of open and distance learning (ODL) policies, systems and applications.
He added that COL guides media professionals on how to use modern technology as a means of increasing the scope, scale, quality and impact of member-countries’ education and training systems. The application of technology through ODL techniques has shown its power and value in many countries and for many purposes. Achanyi-Fontem shared the experience of the radio-in-box experiment in Kochi, India during the 6th Pan Commonwealth of Learning Forum in November, 2010 saying that participation, education and development are the key guiding principles for giving equal opportunities to citizens of any community.
COL partnership liaison person described “Community Media” as any form of media that is created and controlled by a community, either a geographic community or a community of identity or interest. He reminded the media professionals that it is increasingly recognized as a crucial element in a vibrant and democratic media system like Cameroon.
Community media is "Community Communication” because it can take so many forms, be applied by so many different groups of people, and be directed at a wide range of issues like the case of Lebialem, where the issue is using Lebialem Community Radio to inform and educate the community on mother and child health care through the story design matrix. He observed that no single individual or organization can change a community. All target groups within the community have to be involved for any results to be achieved. The role of the experts are to guide citizens on decision making and seeking solutions to problems concerning their well being and livelihood.
Achanyi-Fontem told Cameroon journalists that the success of the Commonwealth of Learning lies on the fact that the organization has no axe to grind any where on the planet during its application of “Learning for Development” principles. From experience, it was reveal that community media is a facilitative tool for discussion and engagement of the ordinary citizenry and has some inherent implications, because the key characteristics of community media convey a more clear understanding of its definition as well as its depth and dimension in terms of how it takes shape in the civic landscape.
The community media programme in Lebialem is serving as a means by which to avoid self-marginalization in the health matters while still adhering to the principles of community interests and social objectives within the reproductive health domain and acts as a means by which local news and information is disseminated. This is allowing citizens to inform themselves about the issues taking place around them.
Lebialem Community Radio is said to be becoming a powerful tool for learning for development, especially informal learning for improving health and livelihoods, because it is both a mass medium and a local medium. It is now providing non-formal educational opportunities, especially for non literate communities in the division.
From interactions between the programme producers and the listeners, it has been observed that the radio is a focal point for community driven learning, that allows learners to identify their own priorities based on participatory mechanisms of assessment. Radio Dramas, storytelling, interviews and songs are used as effective and low cost ways of making community voices an integral part of the learning process.
COL Cameroon Link Partnership liaison invited CAMASEJ to get involve because it is a win-win direction. The CRTV Regional director, Serge Ngando Ntone, recommended that COL should create more capacity building opportunities because the community media scope in Cameroon is fast expanding but formal training possibilities are narrowing down.
Participants asked questions on the use of internet links, how to design media community driven projects and where to get funding for execution media projects and the facilitator shared a few links with the journalists and broadcasters. One participant asked why funding agencies focalize in some regions and not others. The liaison person explained that good governance remains a challenge and road block for many Africa countries and sub regions. He added that when funders discover organizations with excellent delivery records, they do not hesitate to make a contribution. He made it known that organizations should work as a network to achieve better results when funding become rare.
He concluded by quoting the on-going Africa Radio Research Programme Analysis taking place in five countries, Cameroon, Malawi, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania to learn how radio stations go about producing farmers’ interest programmes, the difficulties encountered and how they are overcome. Websites were shared after introducing the persons behind the different Community of Learning initiatives.Sir John Daniels was introduced to the Cameroon journalists as COL President and Chief Executive Office since 2004. Before occupying the position of the chair, Sir John Daniels had gained wide international experience in universities and the United Nations systems.The Vice president, Prof. Asha Kanwar doubles as COL Programme Director and She is responsible for stakeholder engagement and programme direction. Ian Pringle is the Media Education Expert directly monioring the COL Cameroon Link Partnership action taking place in Lebialem, Cameroon and contributing to areas for consolidation of impact. The focal points of the Commonwealth of Learning in Cameroon are Prof. Tambo Leke and Dr. Ndume Ndume, who are both top level government officials in the Cameroon education sector.
CRTV Littoral station manager, Kenneth Asobo, told participants that he is particularly delighted to have had the opportunity of participating in the workshop, especially as he is only two months old in Douala. He wished that several such opportunities be created for fruitful exchanges, since it remains a learning and sharing of experiences process.
Participants at the Commonwealth of Learning Exchange workshop came from Cameroon Radio Television, Spectrum Television, Canal 2 Tv, Cameroon Post, Cameroon Tribune,Radio Veritas, l'Effort Camerounais newspaper and Africa News Agency, just to name a few.Some important web site links shared with the journalist for gathering programming materials include: www.col.org,http://cscuk.dfid.gov.uk/
http://www.cscuk.org.uk/alumni/alumni_general.asp,www.farmradio.org, "IJNet Editor" editor@icfj.org, http://www.gfwc.org,www.awid.org dealing with women's rights issues,http://bit.ly/fq2Ruj,http://bit.ly/4pxeD5,www.waba.org.my

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cameroon Engaged In African Rural Radio Program Analysis (ARRPA) Initiative



By James Achanyi-Fontem, ARRPA Cameroon
Cameroon is participating in an African Rural Radio Program Analysis (ARRPA) Initiative organized by Farm Radio International (FRI), a Canadian based charitable organization that supports broadcasters in meeting the needs of local small-scale farmers and their families in rural communities.FRI is supporting and implementing an investigative research program, ARRPA in five African countries namely: Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi and Tanzania. Tchetta Meli Evariste Rostand just returned from Arusha, Tanzania, where he participated in a face-to-face workshop on the use of the tools for the investigation following an online course facilitated by Bartholomew Sullivan based in the FRI Africa regional office.
The face–to-face training was coordinated by Doug Ward, the chair of the Board of Directors of FRI in the presence of the executive director, Kevin Perkins and his collaborators in Canada and Africa. The research project aims at discovering and documenting the farm radio programming continuum in order to understand all the key processes that take place at the radio station level in researching, producing and broadcasting radio programs for small-scale farmers. For 30 years now, FRI has been producing and distributing radio scripts in order to help radio stations create better programs for listening farmers, and more recently FRI has been sending out the Farm Radio Weekly news and information services. One of the questions that ARRPA seeks to answer is, “to what extent and how are these services used by broadcasters, and can they be enhanced or supplemented with additional resources in order to make a stronger contribution to the production of effective radio services for small-scale farmers?
During the face-to-face workshop in Arusha, Tanzania, the FRI Chair emphasized on
specific objectives of ARRPA:
To understand and document how radio stations go about producing and airing farm radio programs.
To document how FRI’ scripts, newsletters and other resources have been used in the stations’ farm radio programming.
To find out how to make our support services more useful to broadcasters in farm radio programming.
In working towards these objectives, FRI is partnering with four radio stations of different typologies producing and airing programs for farmers in the five African countries that are interested in the investigations. In Cameroon, Tchetta Meli is visiting five station: CRTV Littoral in Douala, Lebialem Community Radio in Menji, Radio Bare Bakem in the Moungo, Radio Yemba in Dschang and Radio Medumba in Bangangte for the investigation. The ARRPA initiative in Cameroon is piloted by Cameroon Link, that has been a partner of Farm Radio International for over 20 years.
It is expected that ARRPA will enable FRI determine what services are more useful to African broadcasters / radio stations and how best to support them in meeting the needs of local small scale farmers. Findings of the study will also inform FRI on the development and implementation of innovative farm radio services for smallholder farmers in line with its 2011-2015 strategic plan.
For more information, please visit the web site of Farm Radio International at- www.farmradio.org

Saturday, April 9, 2011

COL Cameroon Link Programme Targets Women and Youths




The on-going Commonwealth of Learning Open Distance Programme in Lebialem Division has targeted women and youths of Azi Traditional Head Quarters as appropriate community outreach channel. This was revealed during a workshop organized by the Commonwealth of Learning Cameroon Link Partnership for some 30 participants drawn from various professions including media, community development, health, education, agriculture, social welfare, animal rearing, traditional leadership representation and high school students.
The outreach Commonwealth of Learning programme in Lebialem is using community radio to design education and information productions on mother and child health care issues with the participation of local communities.
During the workshop at Ema Azi Palace in Lebialem, chaired by His Royal Majesty, Fon Njifua, epilepsies, mental disorder, sickle cell disorder and problems faced by albinos were included on the agenda as new public health awareness areas of concern in the region. Some mothers attribute these problems to witchcraft due to ignorance and lack of sufficient information.
His Royal Majesty, Fon Fontem Njifua told the Commonwealth of Learning facilitators and participants that the births of albinos is on the increase, while epilepsies and mental disorder in persons is re-occurring in the forest zone from Fosung village to Becheti in Wabane sub division. It is feared that the problems would spread to other areas of Lebialem if research is not carried out immediately to find out the causes of the health problems and arrest the situation before it becomes late.
The Commonwealth of Learning Cameroon Link Liaison, James Achanyi-Fontem, used the opportunity to speak on the importance of breastfeeding, considering the low rate in most villages. He handed prizes for the health quiz organized during the Cameroon Youth Week(4-11 February) and the International Women’s Day (8 March) activities in Lebialem.
The prizes worth CFA 50.000 to CFA 10.000, exercise books and pens were distributed to the first three best radio scripts writers. Two students of the Government Technical College in Menji presented a radio script on how to prevent Cholera and won the first prize. Other wrote scripts on how to promote mother and child health care amongst youths. The winners were given the opportunity to talk on what motivated them to write the scripts and how they were developed. Most of the scripts were centered on the promotion of gender equity with communities.
Other scripts were on HIV and traditional healing, the prevention of unwanted pregnancies in colleges, and the disadvantages of teenage early sex relationship. The winning scripts were written by Agendia Terence and Tajoache Zachs of Government Technical College Fontem, Emesong Miriam Alemkia of Government Teacher Training College, Tengongwo Divine and Njifua Joan of Government High School Azi.
During the presentation of papers on selected issues, Anastasia Atabong, who is the secretary general of Fine Forest Foundation Cameroon and Deputy Mayor of Menji Municipal Council lectured on Sickle Cell Disorder awareness, blaming some parents for attributing the disease to witchcraft practice. She explained that sickle cell disorder is hereditary and that it can be prevented by screening before contracting marriages. If two sickle cell patients got married and gave birth to a baby, the child likely to inherit the sickle cell and grow help as sickle cell carriers. The child will be regularly sick Anastasia Atabong said, as she took time to explain how such children are treated within the community with the avoidance of stigmatization.
Diana Mbu, a nurse and mid wife of Azi District Hospital lectured on the different stages of care as far as maternal and child care is concerned. Emphasizing on the mother and child care development chain, she invited men to be more supportive to their partners before, during and after birthing of their babies. Mothers were called upon to respect the immunization appointment days and get their children vaccinated. She added that mothers are counseled in care centers in the division every week.
Peter Monet Otto, a community health worker from Fine Forest Foundation Cameroon advised the participants to adopt a family planning policy as a means of improving on livelihood, explaining that family planning is not just limitation of birth, but child spacing in the context of Cameroon. In some countries and parts of the world, family planning stands for limitation of births.
He emphasized that parents should give birth to children, that they will have the means to bring them up and guarantee their education, nutrition, housing and well being as child rights.
COL Cameroon Link current activities focus on “Mother and Child Health Care” rights as an advocacy channel for behaviour change communication. The radio health programmes produced weekly:
• Continue to challenge trade laws that prioritize profit over access to life-saving possibilities.
• Create women’s leadership and ownership training opportunities within local communities by the establishment of or collaboration with local health area women gender councils and related health taskforces.
• Educate, inform, lobby funding organizations and service providers for the involvement of young persons, especially teen mothers in care and support activities,
• Promote social norm change campaigns through publications, participation in local community radio and television programmes, fostering relationships with media outlets and through well recognized male and female celebrities for the promotion of women and child rights.
• Participate in planning, organizing and broadcasting programmes during UN international and national days with women’s involvement in radio live shows and pre-recorded programmes on Mother and Child Health Care rights.
It is understood that the subject of mother and child health care is very vast and this is the reasons for putting in place a community of learning orientation committee in Menji to discuss and decide on the issues treated during the weekly programmes on Lebialem Community Radio.
From Azi, COL Cameroon Link Partnership strategy will be focusing on Alou sub division during its next outing in June 2011. COL is an intergovernmental organisation created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to encourage the development and sharing of open learning and distance education knowledge, resources and technologies. For more information, click on the following links: www.col.org or http://cameroonlink.info

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Nestle Boycott Enters Higher Gear In 2011



It's Fairtrade on March 20, 2011 in the UK. As Nestlé goes on a Public Relations (PR) offensive trying to improve its image by linking to the Fairtrade name, it is a great opportunity to tell people why to boycott Nestlé Fairtrade KitKat, its token Fairtrade chocolate bar, involving just 1% of its cocoa purchase.
There are companies that are 100% Fairtrade for people who want to support this initiative.
Nestlé is 'widely boycotted' (to use the words of the company's Global Public Affairs Manager) because its baby milk marketing violates international standards, so undermining breastfeeding and endangering babies fed on formula. Nestlé is the global market leader.
Fairtrade KitKat is included on Baby Milk Action's boycott list.

Here are 10 facts Nestlé executives do not want you to know.
You can help call them to account.
1. Nestlé Fairtrade KitKat benefits the 6,000 farmers who are in the scheme, but millions of people outside the
scheme are dependent on Nestlé. In 2001 Nestlé agreed to the Harkin-Engel protocol for ending child slavery in its cocoa supply chain within 5 years. It has been taken to court by US campaigners for failing to deliver. Only 1% of Nestlé's cocoa is certified as Fairtrade.
2. Greenpeace launched a campaign in 2010 against Nestlé's sourcing of palm oil for products like Fairtrade KitKat, which it claims is destroying rainforests in Indonesia, contributing to climate change and endangering orang-utans. Nestlé has promised to stop - by 2015!
3. Nestlé uses it Fairtrade Partners' Blend coffee to pretend it has changed how it treats coffee farmers. Launched in 2005, still only 0.1% of coffee farmers dependent on Nestlé are involved. Nestlé is accused of driving down prices for the rest.
4. Nestlé violates the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes more than any other company. The Code and other Resolutions were adopted by the World Health Assembly to ensure that mothers are not
discouraged from breastfeeding and that breastmilk substitutes are used safely if needed. UNICEF says: "Improved breastfeeding practices and reduction of artificial feeding could save an estimated 1.5 million children a year." (State of the World’s Children 2001).
5. Nestlé knows that babies fed on formula are more likely to become sick than breastfed babies and in poor settings they are more likely to die. Yet it is promoting its formula with logos claiming it 'protects' babies.
6. Nestlé drives down standards for the baby food industry as a whole. In 2007 its competitors tried unsuccessfully to stop it advertising infant formula in supermarkets in South Africa. Now all companies may start advertising.
7. The International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) last three-yearly Breaking the Rules monitoring report in
2010 documented examples of violations from around the world. The report contains many examples of Nestlé’s
aggressive promotion of formula and inappropriate marketing of baby foods.
8. The European Parliament held a Public Hearing into Nestlé malpractice in Pakistan in November 2000 after a
former employee, Syed Aamir Raza, exposed practices, including the bribing of doctors. UNICEF’s Legal Officer said that Nestlé’s Instructions are weaker than the Code and Resolutions.
9. Nestlé refuses to debate in public with Baby Milk Action having lost a series in 2001-2004. Baby Milk Action has invited Nestlé to participate in a public tribunal with an in-depth examination of claim
and counter claim and the chance to call expert witnesses. Nestlé has refused.
10. Nestlé's Global Public Affairs Manager has admitted Nestlé is 'widely boycotted' - in fact, it is one of the four most boycotted companies on the planet, according to an independent survey. The boycott has stopped some Nestlé malpractice and with your support we can force Nestlé to remove its 'protect' claims from formula labels and accept our four-point plan for saving lives and ending the boycott. For more information, click on the following link - www.babymilkaction.org