This report is produced by OCHA Cameroon in collaboration with the COVID-19 Task Force. It covers the period from 1 to 31 December 2020. The next report will be issued in February 2021.
• In Cameroon like in most countries, COVID-19 crisis has negatively impacted the general situation. As of 31 December, WHO reported 26,277 cumulative cases and 448 deaths in the country with a fatality rate of 1.7 per cent.
• In his end year address to the Nation on 21 December 2020, the Head of State reminded of the necessity to abide by measures to stop the spread of COVID19. He noted that despite efforts made, COVID-19 has caused grief to many families and negatively affected the economy and the Cameroonian society.
Additionally, the Minister of Health (MoH) called for the respect of distancing measures, especially with the end year celebrations and the prominence of a more contagious strain of the virus in Europe.
• According to the results of the Knowledge, Attitude and Practices (KAP)’ survey which UNICEF and WHO carried out in October 2020, the lowest level of knowledge on COVID-19 is observed in the West region and negative attitudes and practices are more common in the Centre and Far North regions.
• WHO has mobilized US$ 3.9 million for the fight against COVID-19 in the North-West and South-West regions which are severely affected by the crisis.
Cameroon is facing a significant upsurge in COVID-19 cases. According to WHO, more than 5,000 new cases have been recorded between November and December 2020. On 31 December 2020, Cameroon had more than 26,000 positive cases. It is the eleventh African country in relation to the number of infections. Nevertheless, Cameroon has the highest recovery rate of 95 per cent.
On 28 and 29 December, the Minister of Health (MoH) intensified consultations with different COVID-19 response stakeholders in Cameroon, to assess the response and identify prospects especially considering a possible second wave of infections.
The Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices (KAP) survey indicated that 72 per cent of the people have an acceptable knowledge on COVID-19. While 30 per cent of surveyed individuals developed adequate attitudes, 74 per cent adopt adequate practices.
The lowest level of knowledge on COVID-19 is observed in the West region where negative attitudes and practices are more common respectively in the Centre and Far North regions. It is worth noting that surveys carried out before had shown that 80 per cent of surveyed individuals had acceptable knowledge on COVID-19. The recent KAP survey covered a wider population though.
Gaps & constraints The consultations carried out by the MoH allowed to identify gaps in the implementation of the response strategy, notably:
• Inconsistencies in data collected from health districts make the analysis challenging, raising the need for an exchange platform between data managers at the central level and those at the peripheral level, such as health districts and health regional delegations, in order to improve the quality of data as part of the management of epidemics and other public health emergencies.
• The lack of standardized procedures, data collection tools, contact tracking tools, and especially the limited capacity of key stakeholders to use these tools. These capacities and tools are essential for the preparation of responses to public health emergencies.