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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.

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 (Photo courtesy of YouTube)

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 [email protected].