Cameroon is one of the African nations experiencing a crisis in human resources for health. There are approximately 1.1 physicians and 7.8 nurses and midwives per 10,000 population (WHO AHWO Cameroon Fact Sheet, 2010). Some of the major HRH challenges faced by Cameroon in the past decade include:
- Inequitable geographic distribution of health workers, where rural areas and the regions of the Nord, Adamaoua, Sud have the fewest health workers.
- An aging public sector health workforce (66% of total HRH, 2011 HRH Census), with 53% of health workers aged 40-51 and 31% over age 51 in a sector where retirement age is between 50 and 55. It is estimated that 15% of current public sector health workers were lost to retirement between 2010-2012
- Lack of regulations and lack of an on-going accreditation system for HRH education and training.
- Limited HRH production planning and recruitment, including problems resulting from the centralization of recruitment and posting, lack of task planning, poor organization of duty, evaluation, incentive, and lack of project management.
(Ministry of Public Health Directorate of Health Resources (MINSANTE DRH), 2012 ;Cameroun : Analyse de la situation des ressources humaines pour la santé, 2010)
In the absence of a long-term strategic HRH plan, the MINSANTE initiated short-term actions targeted at improving the HRH crisis as part of implementation of a long-term National Health Sector Strategy. These actions, including an HRH Emergency Plan 2006-2008, resulted in an increased number of enrollments and graduates from health worker training institutions as well as increased recruitment into the public sector after graduation. More current achievements initiated with the support of the Alliance include:
- HRH stakeholder identification and analysis, and creation of an HRH Committee and Taskforce
- development of an HRH profile
- launch of a National HRH Observatory in 2010
- analysis of the HRH situation drafted with stakeholder consensus
- creation of the Research Group on Human Resources for Health in Cameroon (GRESAC)
- 2011 census of HRH
- educational exchanges between the HRH observatories in Cameroon and those of Mali (2010) and Mauritania (2012).
COUNTRY COORDINATION AND FACILITATION (CCF) IN CAMEROON:
Cameroon has completed Phases 1 and 2 of the CCF - establishing an HRH coordination mechanism and an HRH situation analysis, and is currently in the process of developing a costed HRH national strategic plan.
With the assistance of the Alliance, Cameroon has:
- developed a baseline HRH case study profile, which provides an analytical overview of the coordination and governance environment for HRH in Cameroon
- established new HRH committees
- completed an in-depth HRH situation analysis through the CCF process in preparation for the national strategic plan
- mobilized additional support from development partners to support development of the HRH plan
- reported the presence of a multisectoral coordination mechanism with wide participation, and the existence of mechanisms and processes to inform policymakers about HRH gaps and needs.
HEALTH WORKFORCE DATA
- General Report on the 2011 Census of Health Workforce
- More data available from Africa Health Workforce Observatory at:
HUMAN RESOURCES FOR HEALTH PLAN
Cameroon is in the process of developing a costed HRH national strategic plan. Below is a link to the country HRH situation analysis document used for development of the strategic plan.
HEALTH SECTOR STRATEGIES / PLANS
- La Stratégie Sectorielle de Santé (2001-2015)
- Plan national de développement sanitaire (PNDS) 2011-2015
COUNTRY CASE STUDIES & OTHER DOCUMENTS
The impact of HIV/AIDS on the health workforce in developing countries
- Profil en Ressources Humaines pour la santé du Cameroun
Cameroon: Establishing the Coordination and Facilitation process to address HRH challenges
- Documents from the Cameroon National Health Workforce Observatory:
- Documents from the Cameroon Virtual Documentation Center for the Health Sector
- Cross-Country Review of Strategies of the German Development Cooperation to Strengthen Human Resources (2009)