The impact of a community mobilization project on health-related knowledge and practices in Cameroon

Stella Babalola, Natasha Sakolsky, Claudia Vondrasek, Damaris Mounlom, Jane Brown, Jean Paul Tchupo

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Abstract

The analyses presented in this paper document the impact of a community mobilization effort in Cameroon. Between 1997 and 1998, a local non-governmental organization worked with community associations, Njangi, in one urban and one rural location to promote knowledge and positive practices concerning family planning, sexually transmitted diseases, and treatment of common childhood diseases. Based on a multi-tiered structure, the project involved selecting and training two prominent and influential members of each community as "relais" or middlemen. The "relais" then trained mobilizers from participating Njangis to provide relevant information and help to mobilize their fellow members in favor of the positive attitudes and practices promoted by the project. The project was evaluated using baseline and follow-up measurement of pertinent indicators, and service statistics. Results suggest that the intervention had significant influence in the rural location with noticeable positive effects on knowledge and practices of family planning, knowledge and attitudes about HIV/AIDS and STIs, and use of health services. In the urban location, for programmatic and extraneous factors, the intervention was not effective. The paper discusses the lessons learnt from the intervention and offers pertinent suggestions for replicating the intervention in rural settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-477
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Community Health
Volume26
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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Keywords

  • Cameroon
  • Community mobilization
  • Family planning
  • HIV/AIDS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)

Cite this

Babalola, S., Sakolsky, N., Vondrasek, C., Mounlom, D., Brown, J., & Tchupo, J. P. (2001). The impact of a community mobilization project on health-related knowledge and practices in Cameroon. Journal of Community Health, 26(6), 459-477.