The launch of Cochrane Cameroon was officially celebrated on 30 June from its base at the Hôpital Central de Yaoundé.
At the launch Cochrane Cameroon highlighted its commitment to promoting evidence-based healthcare policy and practice; translation of research to policy and practice; advocating for evidence to promote access and equity to healthcare; effective collaboration, and, strengthening capacity for conducting and using systematic reviews.
"Cochrane Cameroon will play an important role in developing a critical mass of those who understand the role of evidence in improving healthcare," said Co-Director Pierre Ongolo-Zogo.
Cochrane activities in Cameroon have been underway for a number of years with collaborations working to produce high-quality, Africa-relevant reviews (particularly in HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria) and to support their use in policy and practice through stakeholder engagement and capacity building.
“There have been Cochrane activities in Cameroon for a long time especially in author training and development,” said Lawrence Mbuagbaw Co-Director of Cochrane Cameroon. "Reviews by Cameroonian authors especially on HIV/AIDS have informed national and international guidelines, and impacted on the lives of people living with HIV. This launch is a huge step forward in our commitment to developing the evidence ecosystem in Cameroon."
Cochrane Cameroon has also been part of Cochrane Africa since its inception. This was initially an informal network established in 2007, created to build on the strong track record and to enhance and expand activities. Cochrane Africa was officially launched at the Global Evidence Summit in Cape Town in 2017 with a vision to increase the use of best evidence to inform healthcare decision making in sub-Saharan Africa.
Cochrane Africa consists of regional centres including a Southern and Eastern Africa Hub, West Africa Hub and Francophone Africa Hub, and co-ordinating centre at Cochrane South Africa. Cochrane Cameroon focuses on Francophone African countries.
The launch of Cochrane Cameroon follows on the launch of Cochrane Kenya on 8 June. The increased presence of Cochrane in sub-Saharan Africa means the increased conduct of relevant reviews based on priority setting, identification of research gaps, and regional needs with the overall aim of improving health outcomes in Africa.
"Cochrane Cameroon will build on an important Cochrane goal of ensuring far more representation in Africa," said Charles Shey Wiysonge, Cochrane South Africa Director.