Cameroon Facts and Figures - International Health Initiatives (IHI)

Republic of Cameroon
Some Basics Facts and Info
(for those who don’t know)
Where in the world is it?
• Located in Western Africa, bordering the
Bight of Biafra.
Random Facts
Total - 475,440 sq km
Land: 472,710 sq km
Water: 2,730 sq km
Capital City- Yaonde
Population 1.74 million
What is means in real terms, slightly larger than the state of California
Terrain: Very diverse from tropical on the
coast to semiarid and hot in the North.
Sometimes referred to as the “hinge of
Africa”; throughout the country there are
areas of thermal springs and Mount
Cameroon, the highest mountain in SubSaharan west Africa, is an active volcano.
Natural Hazards
Mt. Cameroon last erupted in 2000, is the
most frequently active volcano in West
Lakes in Oku volcanic field have released
fatal levels of gas on occasion, killing
1,700 people in 1986
Lake Nyos and Lake Monoun volcanoes
periodically release poisonous gases
Waterborne diseases are prevalent;
deforestation; overgrazing; desertification;
poaching; overfishing
Land use
arable land: 12.54%
permanent crops: 2.52%
other: 84.94% (2005)
Political Background
• French Cameroon became independent in 1960 as the
Republic of Cameroon.
• In 1961 the southern portion British Cameroon merged
to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon.
• In 1972, a new constitution replaced the federation with
a unitary state, the United Republic of Cameroon.
• The country has generally enjoyed stability, which has
permitted the development of agriculture, roads, and
railways, as well as a petroleum industry. Despite slow
movement toward democratic reform, political power
remains firmly in the hands of President Paul BIYA
Population (2011 estimate) = 19,711,291
Median age – 19.4
Pop growth rate – 2.1%;
Age Structure
0-14 years: 40.5%
15-64 years: 56.2%
65 years and over: 3.3%
The sad and scary stats
Infant mortality rate – 60.91/1000 (Ranked
33rd highest)
Life expectancy – 54.39 years
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate – 5.3% (13th
highest globally)
610,000 living with AIDS (15th highest
Infectious Diseases
Degree of risk: very high
Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial
and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E,
and typhoid fever
Vectorborne diseases: malaria and
yellow fever
Water contact disease: schistosomiasis
Respiratory disease: meningococcal
Langues, Religion and Ethnicity
Ethnic Groups: Cameroon Highlanders
31%, Equatorial Bantu 19%, Kirdi 11%,
Fulani 10%, Northwestern Bantu 8%,
Eastern Nigritic 7%, other African 13%
Religion: Indigenous beliefs 40%,
Christian 40%, Muslim 20%
Language: French and English (official)
plus 24 major African groups
Literacy and Education
Primary to tertiary education – Average 10
Total population age 15 and over can read
and write : 67.9%
males 77%
females 59.8%
Economy (Money, money, money…)
 GDP per capita - $2,300 USD
 Unemployment rate – 30%
 Population below poverty line – 48%
 Agriculture: coffee, cocoa, cotton, rubber,
bananas, oilseed, grains, root starches;
livestock; timber
 Industries: petroleum production and refining,
aluminum production, food processing, light
consumer goods, textiles, lumber.
 The city is an amalgamation of three villages and the
principal ethnic group is the Tikar.
 Bamenda was subjected to German colonialism in the
late 19th century, after the defeat of the Germans in
WW1 the League of Nations shared the colonial
territories among victorious nations. Western Cameroon
was administered jointly with Nigeria under the
protectorate of the British until 1961 when following a
plebiscite it attained independence by joining then the
already independent République du Cameroun.
 Today, many of the city's inhabitants are English
speaking, and Cameroonian Pidgin English is the main
language. The rest of Cameroon, is Francophone.
Health Education
 PT/OT Training – According to the World Confederation
of Physical Therapy and World Federation of
Occupational Therapists websites, there are no entry
level PT/OT programs in Cameroon.
 1 medical school in Cameroon which trains 85 students
per year.
Universite de Yaounde I
Ratio of Health Professionals
 The professional doctor to patient ratio stands at 1.9 to
10,000 in the major cities and 1 to 40,000 in the rural
 The WHO regional average is 2.3 per 10,000. However
the number of nurses/midwives in Cameroon is higher
16 per 10,000 versus 10.9 in the region.
 4000 practicing doctors in Cameroon were reported in
Cameroon in 2005 of which about 1,500 where
employed by the state and private sector for
administrative work. While the number of recorded
Cameroonian doctors practicing abroad was over 6,000.
Health Spending and other stats
Total expenditure on health per capita
$122 USD
Total expenditure on health 5.6% of GDP
“years of life” lost by “injuries” = 7.
Injury and Violence in Cameroon
 Juillard, C. et al; Patterns of injury and violence in Yaound
Cameroon: an analysis of hospital data. Inj Prev2010;16:A166
 Reports on the patterns and frequency of injuries from
Cameroon are scarce. This study explores the patterns
of trauma seen at the emergency ward of the busiest
trauma centre in Cameroons capital.
 Health records were reviewed for all trauma patients
presenting to the ER. Patterns of injuries in terms of
mechanism, date, age and gender were analysed.
Bivariate analysis was utilised to explore potential
relationships between demographic variables and
mechanism of injury.
 6234 injured people were seen. 71% were males; the
mean age was 29 (SD=14.9). Nearly 60% were due to
road traffic injury, 46% involving a pedestrian. Intentional
injuries were the second most common mechanism,
55% of which involved unarmed assault. Falls victims
and male patients were more likely to be admitted
 Patterns in terms of age, gender and mechanism are
similar to reports from other countries in sub-Saharan
Africa. The magnitude of cases reported is high for a
single institution in an African city the size of Yaound. As
the burden of injury is predicted to increase dramatically
in sub-Saharan Africa, prevention efforts in Cameroon
are strongly warranted.
Cameroon Consulates
 1363 West 58th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
V6P 1W3
Fax: 604-261-8897
 High Commission of Cameroon in Ontario
170 Clemow Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1S 2B4
Phone:+1-613-236-1522 ; +1-613-236-1524