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Cameroon: With Israeli aid, drop-in center can now fight AIDS better

The Israeli embassy in Cameroon is working with the Camfaids drop-in center to improve diagnosis and treatment of HIV / AIDS in Yaoundé, Cameroon.


From the African Human Rights Media Network


Isi Yanouka, the Israeli ambassador to Cameroon, visits the Camfaids drop-in center.
Isi Yanouka, the Israeli ambassador to Cameroon, visits the Camfaids drop-in center.

By Courtney Stans

Isi Yanouka, Israeli ambassador to Cameroon

Diagnostic equipment donated by Israel will allow members of the LGBTI community to rely on Camfaids for HIV-related health services rather than depending on clinics that stigmatize them and discourage them from continuing their treatment.

The Cameroonian Foundation for AIDS (Camfaids) is a community-based organization fighting STI / HIV-AIDS and promoting human rights.

State-of-the-art laboratory equipment, officially presented to Camfaids by Israeli Ambassador Isi Yanouka on Dec. 3, included a spectrophotometer, a consultation bed, a sampling table, lamp, scales, reagents and more.

“The spectrophotometer donated by the Israeli Embassy significantly strengthens our technical platform,” stated Nickel Rachid Liwandi, executive director of Camfaids. The device will allow Camfaids health workers to perform 35 biochemical examinations needed in HIV / AIDS health care, he said.

Liwandi said that, because of the donation of the medical analysis tool, Camfaids beneficiaries will no longer need to use public services where they are often discriminated against and often decide not to return for follow-up.

Nickel Liwandi, executive director of Camfaids.

In the past, although Camfaids provided HIV counseling, clients had to be referred to other health facilities for screening. About 40 percent of them didn’t follow through with screening, Liwandi said.

The examinations will be free of charge for people at the Camfaids drop-in center. A minimal fee will be charged to members of the general public in order to pay for maintenance of the device.

Michel Engama, president of Camfaids, greeted visitors to the drop-in center on Dec. 3 and expressed his thanks for the support of the Israeli diplomats.

The Israeli embassy and Mashav (the Israeli agency for International Development Cooperation) have supported Camfaids since 2018. In the past, two workers from Camfaids traveled to Israel for an internship on social entrepreneurship.

Courtney Stans, the author of this article, is a Cameroonian journalist who writes under a pseudonym. Contact her at info@76crimes.com.

Context:

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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