After it all began...
The month of July has been a very busy month for Scholars of both the French and English speaking cohorts in Cameroon. Throghout this month EPI activities at all levels of the health pyramid have been colored and flavored by the dynamism of the over 50 scholars scattered all over the national territory. It all began on the Thursday July 04, 2019 when the Permanent Secretary of the Central Technical Group for the Expanded Program on Immunization recognized Scholar Alumni during the EPI National Monitoring meeting by handing over their certificates to those present. That was the first mile engaged on the course to IMPACT and since then the Scholar Cameroon team has all but accelerated.
With renewed enthusiasm and engagement we set out to build a strong country team, based on the guidance from the scholar team. Cameroon is a particular country because we have the opportunity to have two country groups because of our bilingual nature. I see this as an opportunity and not a threat that we can build on. We get to enjoy the best of both worlds (English and French of course!!!)
So far, what have we achieved?
- We have been able to set up a national EPI team recognized by the National EPI Technical Group
- Held 4/4 weekly country team meetings within the four weeks of the launch pad on skype
- 8 out of 10 Regions in Cameroon have functional Scholar groups that have met and have a designated team leader
- All the two English speaking Regions of the North West and South West have prsented their projects to their Regional Delegates of Public Health
- The country is working on implementing a common GRISP project that is currently under review
- Based on the security challenges plaguing our two English speaking Regions they are working on common projects tailored with implementation strategies that will enable them to reach more children with immunization services
- Individual scholars have taken steps towards implementing their projects especially those who did the GRISP level 1 and level 2 courses
- Every opportunity we have had this month, we have used to contaminate others with the scholar spirit annd this has enabled us to get over 100 personnel at all levels of the health pyramid to apply for this fall's WHO Scholar Course on Data Improvement Planning
What have we learnt?
It is often said that to go fast, you should go alone, but to go far you should walk with others, but we have realised with the impact accelerator that with good organization, together we can actually go further and at a faster pace. More over, working together is more satisfying than working alone. We have moved from being theoritical to being concrete and practical, engaged in getting measurable results.
This matters to us because we are driven by a pledge for IMPACT that we have made with the sole goal of making a difference as far as reducing immunization inequities and improving immunization coverage is concerned. We have embarked on a course that can only gain momentum and pick up speed as time goes on until every child has received all the vaccines they need.