DREAM is an important symbol of hope and salvation in many places in Africa: in Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Guinea Conakry, Angola, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, and shortly it will be so in Cameroon too.
On 12 March, the accord that paves the way for the launch for the programme in Cameroon was signed in Yaounde, the capital.
Sr Maria Angeles, provincial of the local Congregation of the Daughters of Charity, and the Health Minister signed the agreement which pertains to the diagnostic-therapeutic protocols of DREAM, allowing for their application in a health centre run by the sisters.
At the signing ceremony, Sr Maria Angeles expressed her joy and that of her Congregation about collaboration with Sant’Egidio in the struggle against AIDS. The Minister also voiced his profound satisfaction about a partnership which, he said, “will soon yield significant results”.
Cameroon has about 16 million residents and like the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, it faces huge problems due to the increasing spread of the HIV epidemic. Cameroon was one of the first countries to make antiretroviral therapy available. But the fact that it has not been possible to distribute such treatment free-of-charge has severely limited its prevention and curative potential so far. This is why a pilot project like DREAM, which is completely free-of-charge, is so important.
DREAM will start operations in Dschang, a medium-sized city in the west of the country (the region closest to Nigeria, the portion of the Anglophone minority in a state that is largely Francophone).