In Photos: Cameroon FETP Fellows Respond to Cholera Outbreak, Make Efforts to Improve Maternal Death Surveillance

Amber Lauff, Communications Manager

On February 1, 2022, Cameroon’s Ministry of Health confirmed the spread of cholera in the country’s South-West and Littoral regions, following confirmation of 37 cases and five deaths. The outbreak began in October 2021 but has spread rapidly in the last few months, resulting in increased surveillance and response efforts across the country. Throughout January, residents of the Cameroon Field Epidemiology Training Program (CAFETP) advanced-level tier have been directly involved in cholera outbreak response efforts, assisting with active case finding, case interviews, and community sensitization. During this time, CAFETP cohort 8 trainees also supported an outbreak of monkeypox in the Central African Republic (CAR), as well as investigation of maternal death cases in Cameroon’s Far North region. 

Amidst outbreak response, CAFETP has also been working to strengthen surveillance for maternal and perinatal deaths throughout the country. From November 1-3, 2021, CAFETP joined a delegation from the CDC Cameroon office, Pregnancy Outcome Death Surveillance (PODS) project, and Bonassama district for a regional coordination meeting on Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response (MPDSR). The following week, a training-of-trainers on MPDSR was held for 16 district health officers. Trainees of CAFETP’s first intermediate-level cohort also received a three-day MPDSR training in November as part of their fourth workshop. The cohort has chosen MPDSR as the focus for their group project, citing the need for this system in Cameroon, which has a maternal mortality rate of 529/100,000 live births (World Bank, 2017). 

At the end of 2021, the FETP saw the graduation of its second Frontline-tier cohort adapted to malaria surveillance and began making recommendations for program quality improvements during its annual steering comittee meeting. CAFETP began 2022 with a technical secretariat meeting where representatives discussed implementing a new strategic plan and preparing for re-accreditation with TEPHINET.