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Njinikom Cameroon Community Health Works

Community Overview: Njinikom is in the northwest part of Cameroon. Small rural villages that comprise the larger community surround it. The main occupation of the people who live here is farming. The main cash crops are coffee and, to a lesser extent, cocoa. The people grow maize, cocoyams, cassava, banana, and ground nuts for household consumption. The main sources of drinking water are: 44% unprotected springs, 28% public taps, and 12% protected springs. Only 7% of available water is piped into dwellings. It takes an average of 16 minutes to go to a source for water, get water and come back. Child mortality is high and access to healthcare is a challenge because of the rural living conditions and the distance from most villages to the closest clinic.

Service Area Population: Approximately 64,400.

Project Partner: The Tertiary Sisters of St. Francis

This religious community was founded on September 12, 1700.  The Sisters live their lives inspired by the life of St. Francis of Assisi.  The Cameroon Province was established in 1935 when five Sisters were sent from Italy in response to a request for help.  Today the Province numbers over 300 Sisters, who work in many fields of service, from medical care to nursing homes to social services.

Project Overview: The project in Cameroon is multi-faceted and its target beneficiaries are the rural children who have had little or no previous access to any primary health services.  MFH is collaborating with the Tertiary Sisters to maintain a system of community health workers in the rural communities around Njinikom and Shisong. The project ensures that pregnant women with HIV AIDS are identified and receive pre-natal care, reduces the likelihood of pregnant women passing the AIDS virus on to their babies, and provides post-natal care. We have also helped to develop two rural clinics in accessible locations to serve a large number of rural communities. We have helped to initiate nutrition services and are helping rural families gain access to clean water.