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Cameroon launches the pilot phase of universal health coverage with the support of the P4H network - P4H Network

Cameroon launches the pilot phase of universal health coverage with the support of the P4H network

Cameroon launches the pilot phase of universal health coverage with the support of P4H. National commitment and strategic partnership pave the way for universal health coverage through capacity-building efforts.

Over the past decade, Cameroon has made significant progress towards universal health coverage (UHC). In the Strategy for Growth and Employment document, the country has drawn up a health sector strategy, the latest of which, covering the period 2016-2027, has a dual focus: helping to accelerate the development of human capital with a view to growth and sustainable development, and aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals by speeding up the implementation of a CSU.

The national CSU commitment reached a decisive turning point in 2017, when Head of State Paul Biya personally committed to making CSU a reality in Cameroon, “in order to guarantee access to quality healthcare for the entire population without the risk of catastrophic expenditure”[1].

"Support from the P4H network"

According to Gabriel Atangana, Chairman of the Cameroon national coordinating body, “The P4H network’s support for the Cameroon authorities has been strategic and constant for several years”.

Several concrete activities were carried out with the support of the P4H network, facilitated by the P4H Country Focal Person (PF-P4H), contracted by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationalezusammenarbeit (GIZ), deployed on site and entirely dedicated to these issues.

Official CSU-phase 1 launch ceremony, April 12, 2023, Aminata Tou, PF-P4H Cameroun. Photo : Peguy Gwatio

Firstly, PF-P4H provided technical support for the preparation of strategic documents by the national side:

  • the guidance note for conducting the CSU-phase 1 process
  • CSU Phase 1 implementation strategy in Cameroon
  • CSU-oriented health financing strategy-phase 1

PF-P4H’s support also involves facilitating the coordination of the actions of technical and financial partners and building the capacities of national players:

  • revitalizing and facilitating the coordination of partners to align them with national priorities in the area of social health protection
  • joint capacity-building for Ministry of Health players on the issue of public health finance and improving health financing
  • support for the joint consideration of new themes in health financing, in particular gender budgeting
  • support for joint analyses on various themes:
    • bottlenecks in the provision of resources to health facilities and the problem of co-financing payments
    • the rationalization of health financing mechanisms (health vouchers, performance-based payments (PBF), free health care) for efficient management of resources for the CSU
    • support for the setting up of a fund to ensure that malaria treatment is effectively free of charge
  • Joint technical support for the implementation of the first phase of the CSU (CSU-phase 1) through :
    • PF-P4H’s participation in the accreditation of health facilities for the health voucher scheme
    • capacity-building for peripheral actors on the CSU and the extension of the health voucher in the CSU package
    • advocacy for funding of CSU-phase 1 coordination activities in collaboration with the national CSU technical unit
    • support for the development of the CSU-phase 1 Implementation Project Document and its action plan
    • sharing experiences with other countries on issues of CSU, alignment and setting up a health insurance structure

It's a long way to go, but Cameroon can count on the P4H network

The P4H network is also recognized in Cameroon through a unique program benefiting key players in the implementation of the CSU. Since 2019, the Leadership for CSU (L4UHC) program has involved high-level authorities, change agents and researchers on the key success factors for CSU, while emphasizing dialogue and quality interactions. In Cameroon, the team is composed as follows, from left to right in the photo.

L4UHC-Cameroon members, Tunis, November 27, 2022. Photo: Peggy Ouédraogo

As part of the L4UHC program, participants conduct a Collective Action Initiative. The aim is to put the program’s teaching to the test by taking on adaptive challenges and achieving concrete realizations in the field. Three major challenges have been chosen by the Cameroon group:

  • payment of arrears to health facilities in connection with services provided for health vouchers, PBF and direct payment to households
  • commitment of resources mobilized for CSU-phase 1

Effective enrolment of CSU-phase 1 targets was officially launched on April 12, 2023. The road ahead is long, but Cameroon can count on the support of the P4H network.

[1 ] HEALTH SECTOR STRATEGY 2016-2027 Accessed 16 Nov. 2023.