Cameroon

MMDP in Cameroon

With USAID funding since 2009, Cameroon has reached 100% geographic coverage in drug treatment for trachoma, and 94% coverage for lymphatic filariasis – a remarkable feat given the country’s size, wide-scale burden of disease, and co-endemicity with loa loa in lymphatic filariasis districts. With the MMDP Project, USAID is now adding critical support to Cameroon’s efforts to address trachomatous trichiasis, hydrocele and lymphedema, an augmentation in funding that will give Cameroon the full package of support needed to reach disease elimination.

Cameroon’s trichiasis cases are concentrated in the dry and desert-like North and Far North regions bordering Nigeria and Chad. The MMDP Project is supporting the government’s efforts to increase the number of trained surgeons and the availability of trichiasis management services in these areas.

Although lymphatic filariasis is known to be endemic in much of the country, there is very little data on the number and location of people with hydrocele and lymphedema. The MMDP Project’s first step, therefore, has been to help the government gather burden estimates and understand gaps in current treatment capacity so that programming to alleviate the suffering of lymphatic filariasis patients can begin.

The project in Cameroon offers a valuable opportunity for global learning as we focus on how to reach elimination in lower burden trichiasis districts, how to achieve program targets despite insecurity, and how best to scale up lymphatic filariasis morbidity services in a culturally and geographically diverse setting.

Major Activities in 2017

Following four trichiasis surgery campaigns in 2016 that screened more than 15,500 people and provided surgery for 445 in selected districts of Cameroon’s North and Far North regions, the MMDP Project in 2017 is focused on addressing remaining trichiasis cases in the North. 

At the same time, the project is supporting the country’s scale-up of morbidity management services for lymphatic filariasis patients, facilitating the rollout of activities in the North and Far North regions.

A trichiasis surgeon seeking certification as an MMDP Project trainer in Cameroon demonstrates his suturing skills under the supervision of master trainer Amir Bedri, M.D.

Trachoma

  • Conduct mobile trichiasis surgery campaigns in the North to help the region reach elimination
  • Update trichiasis burden data
  • Build local capacity to prepare the trachoma elimination dossier and develop a strategy for post-elimination management of incident trichiasis cases

Lymphatic Filariasis

  • Train hydrocele surgery trainers and hydrocele surgeons, including skills practice on the FASTT surgical simulator
  • Provide hydrocele surgery
  • Establish strategies to facilitate lymphedema case-finding
  • Train health area nurses in lymphedema management
  • Teach self-care techniques to lymphedema patients