FIGHTING MATERNAL AND NEONATAL MORTALITY IN NWR-CAMEROON
Aviva Women in Science Fund Project (Open Dreams) carried out by Talk Pregnancy with Dr Noella (TPWDN) 2023.
[Volunteers of TPWDN and Open Dreams, with Aviva Scholar Niegem Mbwame] Talk Pregnancy with Dr Noella Pic]
OVERVIEW OF THE PROBLEM
The uptake rate of antenatal consultation in the Northwest is low, reducing
progress in attaining the target for maternal mortality. Thus, using a community
based approach will serve as a strategy to improve attendance of antenatal consultation.
[Dr Beri Bella Talking to pregnant women from the Wum Health District] Talk Pregnancy with Dr Noella ]
According to the United Nation, over 2 million people are internally displaced in
Cameroon and among these are pregnant women. The antenatal consultation
coverage in the Northwest stand at about 60%, that means that 40% of the women
deliver without attending any antenatal consultation. To improve ANC we need to
target this 40% missing.
Our project therefore targets the Wum Health District which had the second
highest number of maternal deaths in 2021. This will serve as a pilot phase with
future plans to scale up to other districts. So we seek to train two community
health workers, two nurses, one doctors in this hard-to-reach communities where
access to healthcare is limited due to no health facilities or with non-functional
health facilities. Then followed by a health campaign to screen 200 pregnant
women in this Health District in the Northwest region of Cameroon and thus,
identify those who have not started ANC and also refer those with high risk
pregnancy for better follow up and continuation of care.
This project will be carried out by Talk Pregnancy with Dr Noella an organization
that fights maternal and neonatal mortality in Cameroon, founded by Dr.
Gwanyama Noella in 2021.
[Dr Gwanyama Noella & Mukoh Walters arriving at the Wum District Hospital] Talk Pregnancy with Dr Noella ]
PHASE ONE OF THE PROJECT -TRAINING OF HEALTH PERSONNEL
We trained five healthcare workers from the Wum Health District and ten
healthcare volunteers of Talk Pregnancy with Dr Noella (TPWDN) and Open
Dreams to serve as ambassadors in the fight against maternal and neonatal
mortality. These personnel included doctors, nurses, and community health
The training was done by Dr. Ambe Lionel, the Focal Person for sexual and
reproductive health in the Northwest; Dr. Ombaku Kingsley, an Obstetrician
Gynecologist at the Regional Hospital Bamenda and Mr. Azang Livingstone, the
head of the Labor room Regional Hospital Bamenda. This gave the participant
first-hand knowledge of the standards of care a woman needs during labor and
delivery, identify high-risk pregnant women to ensure early referral in case of
complications, and lastly, the role of Community health workers in the fight
against maternal and neonatal mortality.
[ Dr Ambe Lionel training health personnel from Wum ] Talk Pregnancy with Dr Noella ]
Aviva Women in Science Fund Project (Open Dreams) carried out by Talk Pregnancy with Dr Noella (TPWDN) 2023
All the participants received certificates as trained healthcare workers in the fight
against maternal and neonatal mortality. These ambassadors were thrilled and
ready to combat maternal mortality in their community like never before.
[Group photo with participants and facilitators Dr Ombaku Kingsley and Dr Ambe Lionel in the middle] Talk Pregnancy with Dr Noella]
PHASE 2: CAMPAIGN IN WUM TO SCREEN 200 PREGNANT WOMEN
We screened 166 pregnant women, and out of that 79 women had not started ANC
(47.6%). That’s almost 50%. It ranged from 2 months to 9months. From this we
recorded cases of malaria with one severe form that was admitted and placed on
medications. The others were managed as outpatients. Secondly, some identified
with mild to moderated hypertension in pregnancy and were given a follow up visit
to do a control. Thirty pregnant women benefited from free ultrasound scans. From which some
complications like breech in pregnancy was identified. A woman, who came
coming of decreased fetal kicks, was evaluated and reassured of the good fetal
wellbeing of her baby.
[Pregnant woman benefiting from an ultrasound scan] Talk Pregnancy with Dr Noella]
A common complication that occur during pregnancy is anemia induced by
pregnancy, Thanks to the Northwest Regional Delegation of Public Health for the
folic acid they provided. This was given to all pregnant women some for one
month and others for 2 months depending on their gestational age.
At the end, women who had not started antenatal consultations were all linked to a
community health worker and to nearby health centers in their respective locations
to ensure continuation of care.
[Distribution of folic acid donated by the NW Delegation of Public Health] Talk Pregnancy with Dr Noella ]
1) The bad roads and fear of uncertainty reaching to an area highly affected by
2) Few healthcare personnel trained compared to the capacity needed during the
3) Short period of sensitization for the campaign given that it was approaching the
festive period and also had to evaluate to know how safe the road was.
1) Increase time from training to the campaign
2) Increase number personnel trained per District
3) Involve the other 19 health district to improve uptake of ANC in the whole
-To the founders of Open Dreams: Cristina Bernardo Kullberg, Hans Kullberg, Blaise Buma and James
Akaba through the Aviva Women in Science Fund –Community Project. – Thanks to Dr Ambe Lionel NW Focal Point person for Sexual and Reproductive Health, Dr Nsame Denis Director Regional Hospital Bamenda, Dr. Ombaku Kingsley Obstetrician/ Gynecologist Regional
Hospital Bamenda, Mr Azang Livingstone Head of Labor Unit Regional Hospital Bamenda, Dr Elome,
District Medical Officer of Wum Health District, Dr Nkeh Edmond, Director of Wum District Hospital,
Dr Beri Bella, Doctor at Wum District Hospital, Nurses and community health workers of the Wum
District Hospital (Ayoni Elizabeth, Chifu Elizabeth, Loveline Tangang, Wani Caroline, Wandji Charles,
Rukayatu DanAsabe, Muun Berinyuy,Hadija Ibrahim). -Team leaders of Talk Pregnancy with Dr Noella ( Mr Gamnje Standly secretary TPWDN, Mr Mukoh
Walters Community Mobilizer TPWDN, Sama Nestor Project coordinator, Angyiembe Edna and
Ndanjong Christelle Coordinators of TPWDN) and all other volunteers. – Open Dream volunteers and Aviva Scholar ( Niegem Mbwame, Nji Tima, And Kelei Pauli