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 Health in Cameroon

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Tribe Hero

Posts : 162
Join date : 2010-09-28

PostSubject: Health in Cameroon   Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:12 am

Most children have access to free, state-run schools or subsidised, private and religious facilities.[31] The educational system is a mixture of British and French precedents[32] with most instruction in English or French.[33] Cameroon has one of the highest school attendance rates in Africa.[31] Girls attend school less regularly than boys do because of cultural attitudes, domestic duties, early marriage and pregnancy, and sexual harassment. Although attendance rates are higher in the south,[31] a disproportionate number of teachers are stationed there, leaving northern schools chronically understaffed.[22]

Six state-run universities serve Cameroon's student population. More than 60,000 students were enrolled for the 1998–1999 school year. A council of deans, school directors, and representatives of state ministries governs the schools under the leadership of a vice-chancellor. State funding for universities is low, and student registrations nominally make up 25% of the higher education budget. However, students have fought these fees since their introduction in 1993. Universities have resisted the urge to increase the selectiveness of admissions in an effort to increase revenue from student fees, and the student populations have increased well beyond the 5,000 they were built to educate. Likewise, cuts in faculty salaries in 1993 made it difficult to find and keep qualified staff.[34]

Since 1990, private institutions have sprung up in five regions. These schools charge fees that are five to ten times those levied by state schools. Nevertheless, they offer short professional-training programmes in areas such as accounting, management, journalism, and Internet technologies, so they are popular with students. Certain schools nonetheless fall short of government minimum standards of infrastructure and faculty and must operate unlicensed.[34]

The quality of health care is generally low.[35] Outside the major cities, facilities are often dirty and poorly equipped.[36] Endemic diseases include dengue fever, filariasis, leishmaniasis, malaria, meningitis, schistosomiasis, and sleeping sickness.[37] The HIV/AIDS seroprevalence rate is estimated at 5.4% for those aged 15–49,[38] although a strong stigma against the illness keeps the number of reported cases artificially low.[35] Traditional healers remain a popular alternative to Western medicine

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