Young Advocates for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Prevention and Control (YAP) have been commissioned to employ the skills they have acquired in their four-months training to make a mark in the fight against NCDs in Cameroon.
In lieu of the Director of Health Services (DHS), the CBC Health Services’ Chief of Administration and Finance (CAF), Mr. Warri Denis made the charge while speaking at the end of course and graduation ceremony. The occasion took place in the DHS Hall at the Baptist Centre in Nkwen, Bamenda. The 56 YAP graduands were trained to promote awareness among peers, initiate and implement innovative NCD-related projects involving communities, and to engage all stakeholders to advocate for policies which counter modifiable NCD risk factors.
While appreciating the facilitators and graduands for going through the training successfully, the CAF observed that “This training is the first of its kind in Cameroon. As Young advocates, you are expected to go out and make a difference. There is a need to shift from facility provided services to community services of promoting healthy practices in preventing illnesses. You have to engage communities and stakeholders, influence policies and cultural practices to ensure healthy-living in all populations in Cameroon”.
Dr. Epie Njume, General Supervisor of the CBC Health Services Non-Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control Program (NCD-PCP) presented the graduands to the administration and audience. “These 56 graduands have gone through an intensive course over the past four months to an overview of NCDs and types, communication skills to enable them educate the communities, proposals and grants writing to enable them design and implement funded projects, and advocacy to enforce, or drive the elaboration of policies which foster healthy living. The trainees performed beyond expectation. We trust that they will contribute to driving the fight against NCDs forward in Cameroon,” Dr. Njume affirmed.
Representing the DHS, the CAF presented end-of-course certificates, transforming the graduands into graduates. The Mayor of Bamenda I Municipality, Mrs Caroline Bi Bongwa charged the graduates to use the knowledge and skills they have acquired to change not only their own lives as individuals but also that of their families, communities and the nation.
The graduating batch through a speech presented by the class representative, appreciated the CBC Health Services’ Administration for the skills they have acquired while pledging to do their best in the fight against NCDs. “We will be more performant if we are given opportunities to work within organizations, the training would be a failure if there is no platform under which to operate, “added Ndi Emmanuella Ngani another graduate.
The event was punctuated by singing, dancing and poetic renditions by some of the graduates that all served to sensitise the public on NCDs. It should be noted that the fight against NCDs is everyone’s responsibility. I can fight it, you can fight it and together we can fight it.