EHS-COVID (71) Q1 How has COVID-19 affected the delivery of essential health services? (12) Impact on maternal and newborn health (2)

20 November, 2020

Dear Neil,

You and the HIFA/CHIFA community must have noticed my long absence to connect with the groups or meetings that are taking place. The lockdown for over 7 moths has impacted Adele Reproductive Health Foundation (ARHF) drastically (www.arhf-cameroon.org ). I can only contribute by droping a small write-up. We have no light due to accrued bills and so can't connect. That said, I am sending this as my own contribution that should be added to reports or meetings organized.

1. Very brief introductions: Dr Gwewasang C. Martin

2. Opportunity to share something about your work, any challenges you are facing, perhaps especially in relation to COVID (optional):

I am a Family Health Clinician in private practice, SRH Consultant, Researcher, Founder & CEO of Adele Reproductive Health Foundation in Cameroon. The lockdown during this COVID-19 has affected our health services and programs drastically. It has caused severe social and economic disruption. Our staff abandoned the project, because of no salaries, and no money to buy food. Patients no more come to clinic, many people flee to rural areas which only help spread corona-virus. We then used this period of lockdown to apply for a new authorization from Ministry of Territorial Administration (MINAT) to prepare for new ideas when the lockdown is over. But this has been challenging and expensive.

3. Invitation to country representatives to help with a new project with the World Health Organization: Maintaining essential health services during the COVID pandemic.

As the COVID-19 pandemic overburdens already weak health systems, it is expected to increase the number of newborn deaths, particularly among babies born too soon and babies born by babies (adolescents). Disrupted essential health services, like family planning or antenatal check-ups, will leave women more at risk of preterm birth and vulnerable infants without the services they need. In order to help with a new project with the WHO: maintaining essential health services during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are preparing in the months ahead to invest in training competent and specialized nurses and health workers to care for these mothers and babies. The is the main mission of the Higher Clinical Training Institute for Family Planning (HICTI4FP), formerly the Clinical Training Center for Family Planning (CTC4FP).

4. Discussion about your role as a country representative

As the [HIFA] Country Representative in Cameroon, I have created the Higher Clinical Training Institute for Family Planning (HICTI4FP), formerly the Clinical Training Center for Family Planning (CTC4FP) with a main mission to train competent and specialized nurses to care and work to reduce the number of newborn deaths, particularly among babies born too soon and babies born by babies (adolescents). HICTI is self-funded and with the lockdown for over 7 months, it is very challenging and difficult to get the project running.

with regards

Gwewasang, Cameroon

HIFA profile: Gwewasang Martin is a clinician at the Adele Reproductive Health Foundation-Clinical Training Center for Family Planning (CTC4FP) in Cameroon. He is also a Researcher, and Sexual and Reproductive Health Consultant. Professional interests: Family health, community & School health, Maternal & Child Health and Alternative & Complementary Medicine. He is a HIFA Country Representative for Cameroon. https://www.hifa.org/support/members/gwewasang adele_healthcentre AT yahoo.fr