Cameroon is surrounded by Nigeria, the Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Chad, and its border goes through Lake Chad. Cameroon is a very diverse country in terms of its geography and its population. Most of the people, as in many other countries in Africa are young and fact 62% of them are under 25 years old. Cameroon ranks 150th out of 189 on the Human Development Index but despite its classification as one of the “lower middle income” countries”, there are a lot of disparities in the country.

The regions in the north and east are the less developed ones, and in recent years they have also been affected by the conflicts in the surrounding countries. In fact there are attacks by members of the Boko Haram group in Nigeria in the north, while in the east there are many refugees from Central Africa. The conflict in the English speaking regions (north-west and south-west) is even more recent and is still unresolved: it forced the schools to be closed for three years in these regions and because of this conflict, in 2018 there were almost 500,000 internally displaced people.

Internal conflicts, unemployment, widespread corruption and the difficulty in finding ones’ place in society are all driving young people to try and emigrate, towards both Europe and the United States. Many students try and continue their studies in other African countries because the universities in Cameroon have limited places and there are not nearly enough of them for all the young people who wish to study for a university degree.

Cameroon has one the highest HIV/AIDS death rates in the world (it is 10th with 18,000 deaths a year) and HIV/AIDS is the main cause of death in the country. In fact 3.6% of adults, and altogether 540,000 people, live with HIV/AIDS.

The second cause of death, after AIDS, is malaria, which affects about 40 out of every 1,000 people. The current statistics show that this disease accounts for 24% of the deaths.

DREAM in Cameroon

The DREAM programme started its activities in Cameroon thanks to the collaboration between the Community of Sant’Egidio and the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity.

In March 2007, an agreement was signed between the Ministry of Health and the Daughters of Charity to set up the programme in Dschang, in a new centre near the Saint-Vincent de Paul hospital, run by the Daughters of Charity. The centre opened in May 2008 and treats around 2,000 people with HIV.

In 2014, the second DREAM centre was opened in the outskirts of the capital, Yaoundé. The DREAM centre is part of a healthcare centre run by the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Girona, which includes a maternity and primary care unit and a healthcare centre for children, and it treats 1,000 people with HIV.

In 2016, the Dschang and Nkolondom (Yaoundé ) laboratories opened as part of the national network of molecularly biology laboratories that measure the viral load for PLWHIV who are in treatment and currently measure the viral load for many centres in the West and Centre regions.

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Mantieniti in contatto con DREAM