Cameroon’s agreement to provide an additional 10 billion CFA francs – equivalent to nearly €15.2 million – to advance UHC in the country has highlighted the value of L4UHC’s national coaches, as well as P4H’s Focal Persons.
This was one of the lessons from Cameroon’s and Chad’s collective action initiatives discussed at L4UHC’s meeting with the two countries’ teams in Rabat, Morocco, in October 2023.
“Collective actions are determined by and driven forward by national coalitions of stakeholders, but L4UHC’s local coaches in each country are essential to sustain the momentum and offer independent advice,” says Benjamin-a Mahasolo Randrianarivelo, L4UHC’s Regional Coach for Francophone Africa. “P4H’s national Focal Persons also play an important role in coordinating the various stakeholders, so it’s very much a team effort”.
“This collaborative approach – with everyone having clearly defined roles – was especially important in Cameroon, where the UHC situation is complex and quite challenging, requiring multiple skills to make progress.”
“This multi-stakeholder approach to coalitions – especially with the Ministry of Finance involved – is the way forward.”
One of the critical first steps for the coalition of stakeholders was to anlayse the main obstacles to advancing UHC in the country . Working with the L4UHC’s national coach in Cameron, Herve Ntamack, the coalition identified unpaid bills to health centres as one of the biggest challenges. So, a primary goal was to get the government to disburse 50% of its planned 2023 UHC funding within 150 days to pay those bills and to fund additional initiatives.
“A major breakthrough, facilitated by the national coach and P4H partners, was to bring the Ministry of Finance into the coalition,” says Benjamina. “They obviously control the money, so by bringing them to the table, along with others, the coalition was able to get 10 billion CFA francs released”.
“More generally, this multi-stakeholder approach to coalitions – especially with the Ministry of Finance involved – is the way forward for progressing UHC.”