Health Advocacy on Hepatitis B (VCID/Open Dreams)
The Vocational Centre for International Development (VCID) engages with Open Dreams to lead health advocacy in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon
VCID is an association that exists to promote skill development, social entrepreneurship, and healthcare advocacy and support. VCID was created in 2015, with the unique aim to contribute to a more prosperous, healthy, and peaceful society. As one of the associate programmes, VCID in partnership with Open Dreams, started a health advocacy programme in January 2021, known as VCID Hepatitis B Campaign. VCID Hepatitis B Campaign was initiated by Mr and Mrs Miki, promoters of the Vocational Centre for International Development. Out of a deep burden and the desire to see a community free of Hepatitis B, Miki (Open Dreams/Commonwealth PhD Scholar) and wife Runder Miki (BTEC student in Ophthalmology) decided to embark on this life-saving initiative among other interventions. The pioneer team of volunteers is led by Dr. Mundih Noelar as the Regional Task Force Coordinator.
Empirically, randomly select any 10 persons and ask them if they know their hepatitis B or C status. You will be amazed to find out that 9 out of the 10 do not know. Hepatitis B infection, which is an infection of the liver caused by a virus called hepatitis B is an extraordinarily common infection in sub-Saharan Africa and in Cameroon. As a matter of fact, Cameroon has one of the highest prevalence (11.2%) of hepatitis B in the world. It is a disease, which comes with serious and sometimes irreversible consequences on the lives of those suffering from it. Despite these disturbing findings, so many persons are still ignorant about hepatitis B: its transmission, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Many people both carriers of the infection as well as healthy people do not know their status. Those infected often present to the hospital at the stage where complications like liver cancer have already ensued.
Burdened by these disturbing observations, the vocational Centre for International Development (VICD) working in close collaborations with other associations like Open Dreams (OD), came up with this life saving initiative coined “VCID Hepatitis B Campaign”. We envisage a community where people have a protected and healthy liver.
Some of the activities that will be carried during this campaign to achieve this goal include outreach initiatives, educational campaigns, support towards rapid screening as well as care and support (advisory) for Hepatitis B patients.
Volunteers are the heart and soul of this initiative. Volunteers serve under the following clusters: screening cluster, media cluster, knowledge production cluster and partnership outreach cluster.
Currently, we have over 40 volunteers. The first introductory meeting with the volunteers took place on the 7th of February 2021. The different social media platforms pages for this campaign are now fully operational. You can visit our Facebook page at VCID Hepatitis B Campaign, Cameroon | Facebook or the LinkedIn page at VCID HEPATITIS B CAMPAIGN, CAMEROON: Company Page Admin | LinkedIn. Our team now encompasses people from diverse backgrounds and professions to each enrich our Hepatitis B Campaign and enable us to have a greater impact. We have no limits for the need for volunteers as they will always be essential to the work of VCID Hepatitis B Campaign. As a young and very steamy initiative, we are speeding up partnerships and we are in the process of securing a working relationship with the Regional Delegation of secondary education in order to reach out to young people in secondary and high schools with key messages about Hep B Viral infection. Also, partnership arrangements are previewed with student societies at both the Universities of Bamenda and Buea especially the University of Bamenda Medical Students Association.
You can join us to speak about this silent public health challenge and as an individual, you can contribute personally or by following, endorsing, and sharing our key messages on social media platforms.
There are just many ways to volunteer and our campaign is organized into clusters to allow volunteers have a meaningful and unique experience. Some of the clusters include: - Screening cluster for local community screening events led by Dr. Meyahnwi Didien and Ms. Kukwa Courage Mbu; - Media cluster for enhanced education led by Ms. Ngako Patricia and Ms. Awasung Precious; - Knowledge production cluster led by Ms. Timbong Goretti Nyangha; - Partnership and outreach cluster led by Ms. Mepia Kouemegne Rita-Stella and Ms. Nana Anembom.
Should you have love for our community activism, simply get in touch to join the team of our motivated volunteers.
Contact Dr. Njohjam Mundih Noelar The Regional Task Force Coordinator, VCID Hep B Campaign Email: firstname.lastname@example.org