In December 2014 activities began in the new « Centre DREAM Saint Joseph » in Nkolondom, a district of Djoungolo, in Yaoundé in Cameroon. The Nkolondom center is part of a medical center run by the Sisters of San Joseph of Girona, which also includes a maternity ward and a primary cure and health center for the child. The center was built in 2013 thanks to financing from Manos Unidas Andorra and meets the sanitary needs of the population of this suburb area of Yaoundé, where the prevalence of HIV in pregnant women is about 10%, while the closest sanitary structures are overloaded with sick patients. The structure will be able to provide the whole mother-child care assistance path thanks to the new maternity ward and clinics where vaccinations and pediatric care are already being given, and to the DREAM center which performs the prevention of the infection and offers HIV treatment and laboratory analysis necessary for monitoring. There are already 40 pregnant women who, resulting positive to the test, have been able to benefit from the diagnostic services of DREAM and the therapy.
This new DREAM center was created in collaboration between the Community of Sant’Egidio and the Sisters of San Joseph of Girona, as result of a friendship established in Spain and carried on through this center in Cameroon in favor of the suburb population.
In Cameroon the prevalence of the infection in pregnant women varies from 10% in the big cities, such as Douala and Yaoundé, to 4% in the most northern areas. The country has recently adopted Option B+ for the prevention of the mother-child transmission, even though problems with resupplying antiretrovirals have slowed its diffusion in the territory.
The DREAM program of the Community of Sant’Egidio is present in the country since 2008, with the DREAM center of Dschang, in the western region, which has more than 1300 patients in therapy. Also the DREAM center of Dschang was created thanks to the collaboration with a religious congregation, that of the Daughters of Charity, which has been present in the region for many years with the St. Vincent de Paul hospital. Patients come from across the whole region through word of mouth about the quality of the assistance and reception received; The mother-child prevention program is particularly known, and it has allowed more than 400 children to be born free of AIDS. Every year there is a celebration with all the children which undertake the last test of seropositivity exclusion, to which willingly participate family members and other patients, because it is good news and hope for everybody. Dschang is located in a mountainous area and it is often hard to reach the rural areas. In 2014, through support received from the Porticus foundation, it was possible to buy a car to increase the awareness outreach in villages and to perform home visits for the more fragile patients, including seropositive children (the center follows 70 children).