By Clementina Njang Yong
Yaounde, Cameroon: A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Ministry of Public Health (MoH) and the Cameroon Baptist Convention (CBC) Health Services for the transfer of a Central Data Base “DAMA online database” and the provisions of the Data Manager (DAMA) module from the CBC Health Services to the Ministry of Health.
DAMA is an electronic version of standard national facility registers and reporting tools developed by the CBC Health Services with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention #CDC, for the effective management of People Living with HIV (PLWHIV) in Cameroon. DAMA manages data “real-time” in all efficacy.
The transfer ceremony on January 20, 2023, took place at the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Public Health in Yaounde, Cameroon, attended by representatives from the Ministry of Public Health, the CBC Health Services, and CDC.
The Minister of Public Health, Dr. Manaouda Malachie signed the MoU for his Ministry, while the Director of CBC Health Services, Professor Tih Pius Muffih signed for the CBC Health Services.
According to Prof. Tih who doubles as the Principal Investigator (PI) of the HIV Free Project of the CBC Health Services, DAMA was developed over a period of 6 years. The challenge to develop a software to manage this data was a request from the CDC, their strategic partner in HIV response in Cameroon.
Prof. Tih used the occasion to disclose that the handing over of DAMA to the Ministry is part of its collaboration to improve on the health sector in Cameroon. “The CBC Health Services is also currently working on the Electronic Medical Records, and will present this to the Minister in the days ahead”, Prof Tih added.
The Minister, on his part, thanked the CBC Health Services and CDC for this partnership. To him, this goes a long way to testify the collaboration of the government with both the public and the private sectors for the common good of Cameroonians, resulting in quality healthcare delivery. This is one of the important projects, programs, and policies that the CBC Health services prioritizes for better services to be rendered to people in all communities.
The private sector, the Minister confirmed, has stood the test of time especially in the era of COVID-19. “With respect to COVID-19, we worked with this sector on the entire project, firstly, caring for COVID-19 patients, and the diagnosis of the disease; now we have the prevention phase through a number of promotions regarding vaccination, and sensitizations,” the Minister announced with satisfaction.
“We are in the construction of a unique health system that is robust and can bring Cameroonians quality healthcare services, in humane conditions which will not cause them to be frustrated whenever they go to the hospital. What we are receiving today will contribute in the building of phase 1 of universal health coverage and we need everyone in order to get into this phase”. “I have visited your [CBC Health Services] facilities in either the West, North West or South West, and in the entire country, and I just want to say it is the same house, and the MoU is important for Cameroonians”.
Dr. Manaouda also applauded the technical and financial partners like the CDC, calling on them to “continue to accompany the health sector stakeholders to achieve greater health interventions for Cameroonians”, the Minister concluded.
It is worth noting that this is just one of the several Memoranda of Understanding signed by the CBC Health Services across different sectors in Cameroon, with the singular intention of providing quality healthcare to all who need it as an expression of Christian love.