Bringing together evidence units in Cameroon to enhance evidence uptake in healthcare decision-making.
Background: Considerable work has been done to improve evidence-based health care (EBHC) worldwide, especially in Cameroon. But the usual challenges of not getting the evidence to the end-users still prevail. We still find organizations working in silos, which makes evidence dissemination inefficient and costly.
Consolidating evidence units from the same country or sub-region will significantly reduce the cost of dissemination while making it more efficient.
An African proverb says: "If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together”. Bringing these units of evidence together will greatly advance EBHC in our context.
Objectives: 1. Identify the needs of evidence users (Patients, practitioners, and policymakers). 2. Prioritize the needs of evidence users. 3. Develop strategies to satisfy the need of evidence users. 4. Foster collaboration between evidence production units in Cameroon. 5. Joint advocacies to push EBHC in Cameroon. 6. Engage media houses to talk about EBHC.
Methods: First, mapping evidence producers related to health in Cameroon was done. We identified Cochrane Cameroon, CDBPS-H, PEERSS Cameroon, and eBASE Africa. Secondly, meetings were held to assess the achievements of the different evidence units, the challenges they faced, and joint reflections on how to overcome these challenges and advance EBHC in our country. A stakeholder session was held after all units of evidence identified relevant stakeholders to gather user needs, prioritize them and develop strategies to meet them. For the strategies, each evidence unit contributed its expertise and know-how.
Results: 1. 01 stakeholder consultation at the central hospital of Yaoundé 2. A list of evidence of user needs has been developed 3. A strategy on how to meet users’ needs was done. 4. Collaboration between Cameroonian evidence unit 5. Collaboration with the only health newspaper in Cameroon (Echos Santé) 6. EBM courses are now taught at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Yaoundé 1.
Conclusions: Merging individual evidence units into blocks will advance the trend of evidence-based health care, particularly in low-income settings.
Patient, public and/or healthcare consumer involvement: Doctors, CSO, the media and patients participated