ACAP contributes to the improvement and prioritization of adolescent’s health and well-being in Cameroon through advocacy, education and the development and dissemination of toolkits to improve young people’s health and well-being as well as their meaningful engagement in development matters that concern them. Since 2017, ACAP has been run thanks to the collaborative effort of DESERVE and the Cameroon Agenda for Sustainable Development (CASD), both members of the Cameroon Youth Network.
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 insufficency (Ministry of Youth Affairs and Civic Eduation, 2015). Moreover, there is accute need for more data on many adolescent health and well-being issues.
ACAP is a flagship innovation in which young people can meaningfully engage to improve the health and well-being of adolescents. ACAP in Cameroon aims to accelerate accountability for adolescent health and well-being in Cameroon through developing, disseminating and advocating for institutionalization of the Adolescent Health and Well-being Package (AHWP) in secondary schools and youth groups. AHWP consists of:
With support from PMNCH, ACAP toolkit adaption was pioneered in five countries (Cameroon, India, Kenya, Malawi and Nigeria) starting in 2017. In Cameroon, the toolkit has been adapted to the local context and realities (in English and French) which helps empower young people with skills to contribute solutions to some adolescent health and well-being issues.
The outbreak of the novel COVID-19 pandemic in December 2019 posed severe disruptions on adolescent health and well-being in Cameroon and across the world. There was real need to capture the effects of the pandemic on adolescent health and well-being in Cameroon and globally in the ACAP toolkit, forming an addendum section. Significant updates were also made on the ACAP Toolkit to align it with recent evidence and resources on adolescent health and well-being as well as the most up-to-date global version 2018.
Endorsement of the ACAP toolkit by the Minister of Youth and Civic Education, Minister Mounouna Foutsou (See event here)
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