Healthcare as the basis for a life in dignity

Aminou Aboubakar is two years old. He and his parents are from a small village in the north of Cameroon. The north of Cameroon is barren and there is very little water which is frequently dirty or strongly polluted. Like many other children, Aminou became ill, suffering from diarrhoea and severe fever. He did not want to eat any more and lost an enormous amount of weight. At the same time, his small body became bloated, a visible sign of malnutrition. Local health care workers were alarmed and they diagnosed Aminou with severe acute malnutrition.

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Action Against Hunger in Cameroon:

In the eastern part of the country, Action Against Hunger is mainly supporting Central African refugees and the host communities. New arrivals and the local population are competing for resources. With firewood a scarcity, Action Against Hunger has launched a special emergency program in the Kadey district along the border to the Central African Republic to reduce the tensions between the hosting communities and the refugees. Refugees and local people are working together to produce briquettes to cook. In the long-term, Action Against Hunger wants the population to be able to provide for itself. In the city of Maroua, in the north of Cameroon, Action Against Hunger works in the health centre to reduce the mortality of children under five. With, many diseases caused by a lack of hygiene, the organisation enables access to clean water for the beneficiaries. On top of this, we have established a wastewater management system. In 2016, Action Against Hunger supported a total of 87,422 people in Cameroon, the most important areas being health and nutrition as well as water, sanitation and hygiene.

  • Aminou Aboubakar was diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition and was suffering from diarrhoea.

    Photo: Action against Hunger/ Sebastien Pagani

Background of the Forgotten Humanitarian Crisis in Cameroon

The region around Lake Chad is considered to be one of the poorest regions in the world. According to the United Nations World Food Program, about every third inhabitant does not have enough food. The reasons are complex and multi-layered. Lake Chad, once the livelihood for many people, has shrunk by 90 per cent since 1960 due to drought and scarcity of rainfall related to climate change. The situation in the region has deteriorated for decades. However the urgent crisis has disappeared from public attention. The humanitarian crises in neighbouring countries like Central African Republic, Nigeria and Niger have displaced tens of thousands of people from their home Country. Despite Cameroon’s economic and political stability, many refugees have fled armed conflicts across the region.

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