Health care facilities in Cameroon have been making mandatory contributions to the Health Solidarity Fund. International rights group, Human Rights Watch is demanding accountability for revenues, disbursements, and management of the emergency fund for over 25 years.
Human Rights Watch also wants government to disburse funds from the fund to support healthcare facilities responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, if it has not already done so.
Lewis Mudge, Central Africa Director at Human Rights Watch says “the health Minister should immediately make the Health Solidarity Fund available to healthcare facilities in dire need of support, publish information about its transactions, and investigate any irregularities.”
Noting that Cameroon is the country most affected by COVID-19 in the Central African sub region, Lewis Mudge believes “government appears not to have disbursed funds from a reserve that healthcare facilities have been paying into exactly for emergencies like this one”.
Cameroonian law has required public primary care facilities to pay 10 percent of their monthly revenues to the Health Solidarity Fund since 1993. HRW says though hospitals are exempted officially, it has reason to believe they are still forced to do so.
“Human Rights Watch also wrote on May 11 to the health minister, inquiring about the rules governing the fund and its activities, but has received no response.”
After unsuccessfully seeking such information from the government, no information about the rules governing the fund or its activity has been published, making it vulnerable to corruption and misuse HRW explains.
Cameroon currently has over 9000 cases of the coronavirus. Health experts say they believe more will be recorded if testing is increased. Since the virus outbreak, many have criticised the way the Cameroon government has been handling the pandemic.
Mimi Mefo Info