In addition, a second, little-known humanitarian situation has also been evolving in the country's Northwest and Southwest Regions. Violence between government forces and separatist non-state armed groups from the English-speaking community has escalated sharply in recent years, forcing hundreds of thousands of people from their homes and leaving them in dire need of humanitarian assistance.
MSF teams are currently responding to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic in the country, providing training for hospital staff in different areas of the country.
Our activities in 2020 in Cameroon
Data and information from the International Activity Report 2020.
The year was marked by repeated outbreaks of armed violence, followed by new waves of displacement, particularly in Northwest and Southwest regions. By December, a total of 705,000 people were displaced, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The level of violence has had a severe impact on access to healthcare services in these regions.
To respond to increasing needs, our teams supported around 30 hospitals and health centres, and ran a 24-hour ambulance service, managing almost 9,000 referrals. Our community health workers, whom we have trained to treat simple cases of common diseases, such as malaria and diarrhoea, conducted more than 150,000 consultations.
On 10 December, agreements between MSF and Ministry of Health facilities in Northwest were suspended by the authorities, leading to the practical cessation of our activities, which has left significant gaps in medical services in the region.
Nigerian refugees and internally displaced people in Far North region
People in Cameroon’s Far North continue to suffer the consequences of daily armed clashes, while facing high levels of food insecurity due to the unpredictable climate.
While we concluded our support to Maroua regional hospital after training specialist staff and refurbishing parts of the hospital such as the intensive care unit, we launched general healthcare activities in Kolofata and added emergency surgery to our Mora project. Previously, many of the trauma and obstetric surgery patients treated in Maroua were referred from Mora. Our Mora project also continued to treat malaria, diarrhoea and paediatric malnutrition.
Response to outbreaks
We responded to cholera outbreaks in Douala, Kribi and the Bakassi Peninsula with responses including vaccination campaigns and health promotion. In Kribi, community outreach teams made more than 80,000 home visits to raise awareness of prevention measures.
MSF supported the national COVID-19 response in five of Cameroon’s 10 regions by constructing isolation zones, donating oxygen supplies, training healthcare staff, conducting health promotion and research, and treating patients.