Going by United Nations AIDS, UNAIDS, statistics, HIV prevalence rate in West and Central Africa is 2.3 per cent. In Cameroon, the rate is 4.3 per cent, while Douala has an elevated prevalence rate of 4.6 per cent. Of the 600,000 HIV-positive people in Cameroon, Douala accounts for 68,000, making the city the highest in the country with infected people.
The shocking statistics were disclosed by the UNAIDS Country Director, Dr Claire Mulanga Tshidibi, during the first ordinary session of the Douala City Council on April 1, 2016. She travelled to Douala to sign an agreement with all six Mayors in Wouri Division and the Government Delegate to the Douala City Council. The objective is to help get people to undergo HIV testing, follow treatment, reduce mother-to-child transmission and prevent new infections in order to reach “Objective 90 90 90” by 2020.
According to the Douala Declaration read by the Mayor of Douala II Sub-divisional Council, Denise Fampou, the city’s Mayors promised to help put an end to stigmatisation and discrimination against infected people, reduce HIV-related deaths, get people to know their status and follow-up treatment. They are also to work in collaboration with civil society organisations and other stakeholders to eradicate the plague.
Earlier, the Government Delegate to the Douala City Council, Dr Fritz Ntone Ntone, expressed satisfaction with the 20 per cent increase in the execution of 2015 city revenue, compared to 2014. He said 34.1 Billion FCFA of the 56.6 Billion FCFA allocated for 175 projects was used, compared to 2014 when just 28.5 Billion FCFA from the 44.9 Billion FCFA allotted for 120 projects, was executed. He said when projects begin late, they are likely to continue into the next financial year, but quickly added that the money meant for such projects must be kept aside.
With a balance of 15 Billion FCFA in 2014 and 22 Billion FCFA in 2015, Ntone Ntone admitted that the execution rate was weak, assuring that efforts will be made to step up work in order to carry out what was planned. Over 200 projects will be executed in 2016. During the council session, the Senior Divisional Officer for Wouri, Naseri Paul Bea, lauded UNAIDS’ initiative to fight the HIV pandemic. He urged the City Council to lay more efforts on revenue collection, enjoining management to hurry up with work on major projects like the rehabilitation of « Boulevard de la République.”