Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative in Cameroon and the fight to reduce malaria related under-five mortality
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A review of how the HIPC Initiative has translated in fight against under-5 mortality due to malaria in Cameroon has yet to be presented in published literature despite considerable documentation on HIPC Initiative. This study to a certain degree addresses this gap by reviewing published research, on how the HIPC Initiative has succeeded or failed to reduce under-5 mortality due to malaria in Cameroon, one component of evidence base. Secondary data form the basis of data collection in this study where published documents, articles, journals of the topic in question were reviewed. Studies were sought via an internet search of Medline database, Google scholar, Wholis database and IMF Survey database. Key areas for search included the following criteria: Insecticide Treated Mosquito Nets (ITNs) distributed by HIPC Initiative targeting under-5 children in Cameroon; percentage of children sleeping under a mosquito net; utilization and coverage of mosquito nets; and statistics on malaria morbidity and mortality in under-5. Studies eligible for the criteria were reviewed, synthesized and included. Findings show a considerable number of Insecticide Treated Mosquito Nets (ITNs) distributed targeting under-5; a certain percentage of children sleeping under a mosquito net; low utilization and coverage of mosquito nets; and limited statistics on malaria mortality and morbidity in children under-5. That notwithstanding, the following factors were identified to influence the use of ITNs: economy, culture, demography and environmental conditions. Regardless of the findings identified in this study, data suggest little or an insignificant impact brought about by HIPC Initiative in the fight against under-5 related malaria mortality due to insufficient, lack of well-designed and documentation studies in this area in the published literature. Policy implications of this study include: understanding factors influencing the use of ITNs and demystifying negative perceptions; tracking the progress and drawing inferences on both ownership and actual use of ITNs could encourage a sustained use ITNs in order to optimize their role as malaria control tool. Region-specific rapid assessments of household possession and use of ITNs should be done regularly, under-5 morbidity and mortality data tracked and properly documented. The findings obtained during such an assessment should be incorporated into programme policy.
Master in International Social Welfare and Health Policy