Ten years ago, without evidence to suggest otherwise, diabetes was not considered a public priority in Cameroon; the emphasis of Government health policy was on tackling the HIV/AIDS epidemic and attempting to eradicate communicable diseases. Efforts had been made to set up centres specializing in diabetes and hypertension, but without the backing of a national diabetes programme, most of these closed within a few years. The lack of data on non-communicable diseases constituted a major roadblock to the development of any such programme. When the results of a 1994 epidemiological study revealed that diabetes was a growing potential threat to health in Cameroon, healthcare providers, policy-makers, and community representatives were galvanized into taking action to stem the epidemic. The authors describe the development and implementation of a national policy on diabetes and hypertension that is informed by research data and supported by effective multi-sectoral partnerships.
Africa, Cameroon, NCDs, educational tools, CAMBoD