The 1point8 Billion Young People for Change Campaign (also, the #1point8 Campaign) whose brainchild is PMNCH is a novel campaign to help bridge the policy and engagement gap for adolescents’ and young people’s well-being through a combination of grassroots and grasstops approaches. DESERVE collaborates with other members of PMNCH to design this campaign and also to roll it out in Cameroon.
The #1point8 Campaign in Cameroon follows on the heels of a successful roll out of the Advocating for Change for Adolescents Project (ACAP) since 2017 which saw the development and government endorsement of the Adolescent Health and Well-being Package (AHWP) [consisting of the localised ACAP toolkit in English and French and an addendum on COVID-19, its effects on adolescents’ well-being and measures to mitigate the effects; a disaggregated data collection and analysis toolkit; and an age-appropriate sexuality education manual for secondary schools] on the 1st November, 2021 by the Minister of Youth Affairs and Civic Education, Mounouna Foutsou. Unlike ACAP which was officially rolled-out in five countries (Cameroon, India, Kenya, Malawi and Nigeria), the #1point8 Campaign is being officially rolled out in over 10 countries of which Cameroon is amongst. However, young people from more than 100 countries are expressing what they want for their health and well-being.
Youth between 10 and 24 years make up over 32% of Cameroon’s population (Population Reference Bureau, 2016). Though adolescents are said to be one of healthiest age groups, they face many health and well-being challenges that limit them from reaching their full potentials. For instance, in Cameroon, early pregnancy among girls with only primary education is up to 178 per thousand girls while HIV prevalence among youth 15-24 ranges between 1-1.8% (NIS, MINSANTE & UNICEF, 2015). Up to 47.2% of girls are married before their 18th birthday (The Population Council & UNFPA, 2009) and many adolescents 15-19 years suffer energy deficiency mainly because of food insufficiency (Ministry of Youth Affairs and Civic Education, 2015). Moreover, there is acute need for more data on many adolescent health and well-being issues.
The #1point8 campaign is geared towards achieving three core deliverables:
The following is a summary of key achievements as of the 10th of May 2023 under each deliverable: