Although Cameroon’s AIDS rate is amongst the highest in French-speaking African countries, with almost one million Cameroonians being HIV positive in 2005, the country is still more advanced than its neighbours in battling the disease. How difficult are things there? What is the Cameroon government doing to prevent the spread of AIDS? What treatments do they have available?
“Cameroon Fights Back” brings a new and optimistic perspective to the war on HIV/AIDS. With journalist Wally Ambroise, we travel the country and witness the impressive mobilisation to conquer this plague.
For instance, a company called Alucam routinely tests each of its employees and pays all costs for treatment in cases of HIV/AIDS infection. Alucam has calculated that it is less expensive to treat its employees than to hire and train new managers or workers. In Cameroon’s hospitals, the testing of pregnant women is regularly performed. And Cameroon’s Health Ministry is beginning to win its fight to decrease treatment costs by making generic drugs more readily available.
HIV/AIDS is becoming less and less of a taboo; even for the religious dignitaries who were, until recently, very conservative and distant towards the matter. Also, Cameroon music and sports celebrities, such as Roger Mila, have begun speaking out. Despite all efforts, however, prejudice is still strongly anchored. Not only do HIV-positive people continue to be stigmatised but, most of the time, treatments remain too expensive for the majority.
Directors: Franck Sanson & Pauline Ava
Producers: French Connection Films, KTO, CRTV, Transa Communication
Length: 52 minutes
Languages: English, French
Partners: CNC (French Film Board), Cameroonian Health Ministry (CNLS), Camtel (Cameroon Telecommunications), Cameroon Airlines, CNPS, Groupe Arno, PMUC, Feicom Cameroon, Total Exploration, Alucam (Péchiney Group), Les Brasseries du Cameroun
Broadcasters: KTO, France Ô, RFO (France), TV5 Monde, RTBF (Belgium), CRTV & STV (Cameroon), RTM (Morocco), CFI (Africa)